Rice University bioengineers have developed a hydrogel scaffold for craniofacial bone tissue regeneration that starts as a liquid, solidifies into a gel in the body and liquefies again for removal.
Injectable hydrogel scaffold undergoes rapid gelation from a soluble liquid at room temperature, left, to form a stable, nonshrinking gel at body temperature, right, after one minute. (Credit: Mikos Laboratory/Rice University)
The material developed in the Rice lab of bioengineer Antonios Mikos is a soluble liquid at room temperature that can be injected to the point of need. At body temperature, the material turns instantly into a gel to help direct the formation of new bone to replace that damaged by injury or disease.
The gel conforms to irregular three-dimensional spaces and provides a platform for functional and aesthetic tissue regeneration. It is intended as an alternative to prefabricated implantable scaffolds.
The invention is the subject of a new paper that appeared online this week in the American Chemical Society journal Biomacromolecules.
Lead author Tiffany Vo, a fourth-year doctoral graduate student in the Mikos lab, earned a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for her work on the project.
“This new platform technology leverages injectable, thermally responsive, chemically crosslinkable and bioresorbable hydrogels for regenerative medicine applications,” Mikos said. “It enables the formation of scaffolds locally and the delivery of growth factors and stem cells into defects of complex anatomical shapes with minimal surgical intervention.”
Thermosensitive technologies are not new to the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, Mikos said. What makes the poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), or PNiPAAm, scaffold promising is that its chemical cross-linking technology allows the researchers to eliminate gel shrinkage without reducing swelling; this improves its stability so that it serves as an effective delivery vehicle for growth factors and stem cell populations.
Once sufficient quality and quantity of bone tissue have regenerated to fill the defected site, the hydrogel scaffold can be transitioned back into a liquid state and released naturally.
As part of the project, the researchers will test the hydrogel’s enhanced seeding capabilities and ability to promote cellular attachment, crosstalk and proliferation toward greater bone formation. The knowledge will improve the understanding of biomaterial-based therapies for minimally invasive tissue regeneration as viable clinical alternatives.
“The results demonstrate the ability to encapsulate stem cell populations with temperature-sensitive gelling scaffolds for injectable cell delivery with enormous implications for the development of novel therapeutics for craniofacial bone regeneration,” Mikos said.
Co-authors include Adam Ekenseair, a former postdoctoral fellow in the Mikos Lab and currently an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern University, and Kurt Kasper, a faculty fellow in bioengineering at Rice. Mikos is Rice’s Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
The National Institutes of Health, the Baylor College of Medicine Scientific Training Program for Dental Academic Researchers and the Kirschstein fellowship supported the research.Read the abstract at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bm401413c
David Ruth | EurekAlert!
Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University
Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering