Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCLA Researchers Discover New Method to generate human bone

25.04.2005


Protein Found by UCLA Shows Generation of New Bone in Patients Who Lack It, as Well as Faster, More Reliable Healing of Fractures

By studying diseases in which the human body generates too much bone, UCLA researchers have discovered and isolated a natural molecule that can be used to heal fractures and generate new bone growth in patients who lack it.

Bioengineering Professor Ben Wu at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Thomas R. Bales Professor Kang Ting at UCLA’s School of Dentistry are developing a new molecule they’ve named UCB, or University of California Bone.



The core technology developed by Wu and Ting is potentially the most significant advancement in bone regeneration since the discovery of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) by Dr. Marshall Urist at UCLA in the 1960s.

“For the average person, this new development potentially means faster, more reliable bone healing with fewer side effects at a lower cost,” says Ting. “In more severe cases, such as in children born with congenital anomalies, the new protein may offer an advanced solution to repair cleft palates, which involves bone deficiencies, and also aid in repairing other bone defects such as fractures, spinal fusion and implant integration.”

UCB differs significantly from BMPs, the protein currently used by orthopedic surgeons to aid in bone repair, in that UCB has potentially fewer side effects. With BMPs, bone formation has been observed to occur at locations outside of the intended implant site, and tissue other than bone also has been reported. In contrast, UCB’s main effects appear to be more specific towards bone formation process, giving surgeons increased control over where bone forms. Says Wu, UCB is more specific because it works downstream from the body’s “master switch” for bone formation. Because the two molecules act on different targets, UCB also works synergistically with BMPs to form more bone than is typically possible with BMPs alone.

The key to success for these proteins is designing the right carrier – using the protein alone is not effective. Currently BMPs are delivered with a collagen-sponge into the area where bone growth is needed. The sponge offers little biological benefits for the surgeon, and proteins can migrate away from the sponge. In contrast, the team at UCLA is developing a carrier that is engineered for UCB activities in the biological environment.

“It’s the right combination of carrier and protein that further increases the stability and activity of UCB. For certain clinical applications, we will need to develop injectable options that are minimally invasive. For other clinical applications, we will need moldable carriers that can hold the UCB in place better. By making life easier for the surgeons, they can focus on the surgery. Ultimately, the patient benefits,” says Ting.

Another current option is to use the patient’s own bone grafted from another part of the body.

“Right now we are doing a lot of spinal fusions and these fusions require us to have bone graft material. The problem with taking a patient’s own bone for this procedure is that aside from the pain, which often becomes severe and persistent, there is a high risk of infection. This adds higher risk to the surgery,” says Dr. Jeffrey Wang, Chief of Orthopaedic Spine Service at the UCLA Comprehensive Spine Center. “The discovery of UCB could potentially be a better way to do spinal fusion. Used in conjunction with cartilage growth, this discovery may completely change the way we look at things in the future,” added Wang.

BMPs, found in demineralized bone, were discovered in the 1960s, but until the advent of biotechnology, the arduous process and high cost associated with making BMPs from animal-derived bone was deemed too difficult. To date, only two companies have received FDA approval for BMPs, making the product cost high, and the treatment prohibitive for many.

Ting, who works frequently with children who have congenital anomalies, began his bone research eight years ago. Wu joined him three years ago, and their collaboration resulted in the recent discovery.

“I thought it was important to understand how accelerated bone growth in one situation might be applied to situations where more bone growth could accelerate healing in those patients who lacked normal or necessary bone formation,” says Ting. “This discovery will provide another option for patients. Competition will make treatment options safer, less expensive, and more accessible for those families who really need it.”

The team of UCLA researchers, under the business name Bone Biologics, already has begun forming partnerships that may assist in the development of appropriate carriers for UCB. The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF), the nation’s largest tissue bank, has signed a collaborative development agreement with Wu and Ting to provide customized tissue forms to support the delivery of UCB.

“We are excited by the initial work of Dr.’s Wu and Ting,” stated MTF President and CEO, Bruce Stroever. The development of new protein sources tied to an appropriate carrier that encourage new bone formation and speed healing is work that is synergistic to MTF’s mission of advancing the science of bone, ligament, cartilage and skin transplantation. We are pleased to be working with UCLA.”

Wu and Ting anticipate FDA approval and first sales of the product in the next seven to nine years. Other collaborators on this technology include Dr. Xinli Zhang and Dr. Chia Soo at UCLA, and Dr. Shunichi Kuroda at Osaka University. The new technology recently has been awarded the prestigious 2005 Hatton Award from the International Association of Dental Research.

For more information, media should contact Melissa Abraham (mabraham@support.ucla.edu or 310.206.0540.)

Melissa Abraham | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucla.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>