Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanotechnology could fix Achilles' heel

01.02.2008
Tissue engineered bone and skin grafts, synthetic heart valves, ceramic hip replacements… surgery is turning us into bionic people.

But the Achilles' heel in the prosthetic repertoire is fixing tendons… such as that found in the ankle. Now, researchers from the universities of Manchester and Liverpool have turned to nanotechnology to create artificial tendons using a spinning technique with a biodegradable plastic.

Writing in Inderscience's International Journal of Nanotechnology and Biomaterials Lucy Bosworth and Sandra Downes of the Department of Biomaterials, at the University of Manchester, and colleague Peter Clegg of The University of Liverpool, explain how materials science could be used to create very thin fibres to help regenerate damaged tendons.

Tendon injuries are a common problem facing anyone who takes part in sports or many other activities. A variety of tendons in man may be affected by injury, including tendons in the shoulder, elbows, biceps, knee, foot, and the notorious Achilles, the researchers say, while from the veterinary perspective, tendon problems in horses leads to costly losses to the racing industry.

Even with urgent treatment, scar tissue quickly forms as a tendon heals often leading to chronic pain and recurrent problems. Current treatments are ineffective, explain Bosworth and colleagues, so there is an urgent clinical need to find ways to prevent inferior scar tissue forming as an injury heals.

She and her colleagues reasoned that biocompatible fibres of the plastic polycaprolactone would not only be biocompatible and so be accepted by the body, but would be degraded over time as the injury heals and so replaced by new, healthy tissue.

They used a technique known as electrospinning to produce long, thin fibres of this material just a few thousandths the thickness of a human hair. These polymer nanofibres have a structure resembling the natural fibres of tendons; however, in this form they are not similar enough to be useful as a scaffold for tissue regeneration.

The Manchester team working with Peter Clegg, in Liverpool's Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, have now experimented with different electrospinning conditions to fabricate polycaprolactone nanofibres that form in long bundles that could be grouped together to form a temporary scaffold mimicking the structure of tendon tissue. Implanted into an injured tendon this scaffold material would act as a support for the growth of new tissue and prevent the formation of inferior scar tissue.

Albert Ang | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk
http://www.inderscience.com

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht 3-D visualization of the pancreas -- new tool in diabetes research
15.03.2017 | Umea University

nachricht New PET radiotracer identifies inflammation in life-threatening atherosclerosis
02.03.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>