UK scientists are working on new methods to regenerate cartilage and bone by delivering genes to stem cells within the body to instruct them to turn into bone cells. The research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), could lead to a new approach to tissue engineering. With the ageing populations of Western countries it holds the potential of significant benefits for patients needing joint replacement or similar treatments.
The new research will use tiny nanoscopic systems that cross the surface of a stem cell and then deliver the genes into that prompt the cell to turn into a bone cell.
Professor Richard Oreffo at the University of Southampton and Dr Martin Garnett and Professor Kevin Shakesheff at the University of Nottingham are developing scaffolds to act as a coating around the nanoscopic gene delivery systems. The scaffold controls the release of the gene delivery systems to generate the prolonged formation and development of bone tissue.
Matt Goode | EurekAlert!
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