Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Medtec Expo 2015: Novel tissue substitute made of high-tech fibers

01.04.2015

Regenerative medicine uses cells harvested from the patient’s own body to heal damaged tissue. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a cell-free substrate containing proteins to which autologous cells bind and grow only after implantation. Samples of the new implants will be on show at the Medtec expo.

Donor organs or synthetic implants are usually the only treatment option for patients who have suffered irreparable damage to internal organs or body tissue. But such transplants are often rejected. Implants based on autologous cells are more likely to be accepted by the human organism.


The high-tech fibrous material can be used to replace human tissue.

© Fraunhofer IGB

But in order to grow, these cells require a compatible structural framework. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart are working on a project to develop suitable substrates – known as scaffolds – in collaboration with the university hospital in Tübingen and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Their solution is based on electrospinning, a process in which synthetic and biodegradable polymers such as polylactides are spun into fibers using an electrical charge. These fibers are then used to create a three-dimensional non-woven fabric.

Growing cells inside the patient’s body

The scientists have chosen a novel approach in which proteins are added to the polymeric material during the electrospinning process, and become incorporated in the resulting hair-thin fibers. In this way, the material serves as a substrate to which the patient’s own cells will bind after it has been implanted.

“Electrospinning enables us to create a cell-free substrate on which cells can grow after it has been implanted in the patient’s body. Each type of protein attracts specific cells, which adhere to the scaffold and grow there. By selecting the appropriate protein, we can build up heart tissue or regenerate other damaged organs,” explains Dr. Svenja Hinderer, one of the research scientists working on this project at Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart.

The substrate is spun into a fine sheet and cut to the required size. To repair damage to the heart muscle, for instance, a scaffold corresponding to the extent of the damaged area is placed like a blanket over the muscular tissue.

The polymeric fibers gradually degrade in the human organism over a period of approximately 48 months. During this time, the cells that bind to the proteins find an environment that is conducive to their growth. They construct their own matrix and restore the functions of the original tissue.

Successful bioreactor test results

The results of initial laboratory experiments and bioreactor tests have been very successful so far. The researchers have been able to demonstrate that esophageal/tracheal cells, which are difficult to culture in-vitro, are capable of binding to decorin protein fibers in the substrate and growing there. Another protein – the stromal-cell derived growth factor SDF-1 – binds with progenitor cells, a special type of stem cell necessary for constructing heart valves and for regenerating heart muscle cells after an infarction.

“The implants we have fabricated using electrospinning demonstrate the same mechanical and structural properties as a normal heart valve. Like the original version, they close and open at a blood pressure of 120 to 80 mmHg during tests in a bioreactor,” says Hinderer. The next step for the researcher and her colleagues is to test the protein-coated scaffolds in animal models.

The hybrid materials composed of polymeric and protein fibers can be produced and stored in large quantities. The IGB team is working to bring the novel substrate to market as a rapidly implementable alternative to conventional heart valve replacements.

“We can’t yet say how long this will take, though,” comments the researcher. One of the advantages of cell-free implants is that they are classified as medical devices and not as novel therapeutic drugs, which means less time waiting for approval.

“Even so, the process of obtaining approval for medical devices that are populated with human cells prior to implantation is very long and expensive,” explains Hinderer. The researchers will be presenting samples of the polymeric scaffolds at the Medtec expo in Stuttgart from April 21 to 23, in the joint Fraunhofer booth (Hall 7, Booths 7B04/7B10). Exhibits also include a bioreactor for cell culture on these substrates.

Dr. Claudia Vorbeck | Fraunhofer Research News

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht Solar Collectors from Ultra-High Performance Concrete Combine Energy Efficiency and Aesthetics
16.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht Energy-Efficient Building Operation: Monitoring Platform MONDAS Identifies Energy-Saving Potential
16.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>