Unfortunately, these procedures do not always have the desired effect. Now Prof. Dr. Matthias Epple and his research team at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) have developed a nanoparticle paste which can be injected into the defect and results in improved healing.
A graphic showing the mode of action of the paste photo © UDE
The trick: the researchers have combined synthetic calcium phosphate with DNA.
Now a professor for inorganic chemistry, Matthias Epple was attracted to the interface between biology and medical science. “We have been investigating the impact of mineral tissue such as teeth, bone and sea shells for many years and are now using the knowledge we have gained to produce new biomaterials.” To achieve this he has collaborated closely with medical scientists and his current project – carried out with three of his doctoral students – was no exception.
"The repair of bone defects presents a real challenge for surgeons,” he relates. “When possible they collect the patient’s own bone from various locations, such as the iliac crest, and implant it where needed to fill defects.” The researcher explained that since there is only a limited amount of surplus bone material in the body, synthetic materials are now being used. “Calcium phosphate is a natural choice here since it is an inorganic mineral found in bones in the form of nanocrystals. It is a material familiar to the body, which makes it a suitable carrier.” He added that the calcium and phosphate ions lead to improved new bone formation.
However, the use of synthetic materials creates a host of new problems: the bones heal more slowly, the risk of infection is greater and the mechanical stability is not ideal. Epple’s team has now created a bone repair paste by coating synthetic nanocrystals of calcium phosphate with nucleic acids – in other words, with DNA. The professor explains what happens when this paste is injected into a bone defect: “The nanoparticles are taken up by cells. The calcium phosphate dissolves and the DNA that is released stimulates the formation of two proteins important for healing: BMP-7, which stimulates bone formation, and VEGF-A, which is responsible for the creation of new blood vessels. As a result, the new bone is supplied with valuable nutrients.”
The UDE researchers expect that the paste will have a long-lasting effect since the nanoparticles are released successively and thus continuously stimulate the surrounding cells. They have demonstrated that the paste works in three different cell types. Further tests now have to be conducted. Epple and his co-researchers hope that “our development will be used several years from now in the field of traumatology and in the treatment of osteoporosis.”
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C3RA23450AFor additional information, contact:
Ulrike Bohnsack | idw
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences