The UNC study team led by Anna Spagnoli, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical engineering, demonstrated that stem cells manufactured with the regenerative hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) become bone cells and also help the cells within broken bones repair the fracture, thereby speeding the healing. The new findings are presented Sunday, June 5, 2011 at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.
A deficiency of fracture healing is a common problem affecting an estimated 600,000 people annually in North America. "This problem is even more serious in children with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, and in elderly adults with osteoporosis, because their fragile bones can easily and repeatedly break, and bone graft surgical treatment is often not successful or feasible," Spagnoli said.
Approximately 7.9 million bone fractures occur every year in the United States alone, with an estimated cost of $70 billion. Of these, 10 to 20 percent fail to heal.
Fractures that do not mend within the normal timeframe are called non-union fractures. Using an animal model of a non-union fracture, a "knockout" mouse that lacks the ability to heal broken bones, Spagnoli and her colleagues studied the effects of transplanting adult stem cells enriched with IGF-I. They took mesenchymal stem cells (adult stem cells from bone marrow) of mice and engineered the cells to express IGF-I. Then they transplanted the treated cells into knockout mice with a fracture of the tibia, the long bone of the leg.
Using computed tomography (CT) scanning, the researchers showed that the treated mice had better fracture healing than did mice either left untreated or treated only with stem cells. Compared with controls left to heal on their own or recipients of stem cells only, treated mice had more bone bridging the fracture gap, and the new bone was three to four times stronger, according to Spagnoli.
"More excitingly, we found that stem cells empowered with IGF-I restored the formation of new bone in a mouse lacking the ability to repair broken bones. This is the first evidence that stem cell therapy can address a deficiency of fracture repair," she said.
This success in an animal model of fracture non-union, Spagnoli said, "is a crucial step toward developing a stem cell-based treatment for patients with fracture non-unions."
"We envision a clinical use of combined mesenchymal stem cells and IGF-1 similar to the approach employed in bone marrow transplant, in which stem cell therapy is combined with growth factors to restore blood cells," she said. "I think this treatment will be feasible to start testing in patients in a few years." IGF-I is currently approved for treatment of children with a deficiency of this hormone, causing growth failure.
Others that contributed to the research are: Froilan Granero-Molto, Timothy Myers, Jared Weis, Lara Longobardi, Tieshi Li, Yun Yan, Natasha Case, and Janet Rubin.
Support for the research came from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health.
Les Lang | EurekAlert!
Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications
Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine