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 Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate
21.02.2017 | Radiological Society of North America

nachricht Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery
17.02.2017 | Children's National Health System

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>