The artificial bones display a gradual change from bone to softer tissue rather than the sudden shift of previously developed artificial tissue, providing better integration with the body and allowing them to handle weight more successfully. The research appears in the August 26, 2008, edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“One of the biggest challenges in regenerative medicine is to have a graded continuous interface, because anatomically that’s how the majority of tissues appear and there are studies that strongly suggest that the graded interface provides better integration and load transfer,” said Andres Garcia, professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Garcia and former graduate student Jennifer Phillips, along with research technician Kellie Burns and their collaborators Joseph Le Doux and Robert Guldberg, were not only able to create artificial bone that melds into softer tissues, but were also able to implant the technology in vivo for several weeks.
They created the tissue by coating a three-dimensional polymer scaffold with a gene delivery vehicle that encodes a transcription factor known as Runx2. They generated a high concentration of Runx2 at one end of the scaffold and decreased that amount until they ended up with no transcription factor on the other end, resulting in a precisely controlled spatial gradient of Runx2. After that, they seeded skin fibroblasts uniformly onto the scaffold. The skin cells on the parts of the scaffold containing a high concentration of Runx2 turned into bone, while the skin cells on the scaffold end with no Runx2 turned into soft tissue. The result is an artificial bone that gradually turns into soft tissue, such as tendons or ligaments.
If the technology is able to pass further testing, one application could be anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery. Oftentimes, ACL surgery fails at the point where the ligament meets the bone. But if an artificial bone/ligament construct with these types of graded transitions were implanted, it might lead to more successful outcomes for patients.
“Every organ in our body is made up of complex, heterogeneous structures, so the ability to engineer tissues that more closely mimic these natural architectures is a critical challenge for the next wave of tissue engineering,” said Phillips, who is now working at Emory University as a postdoctoral research fellow in developmental biology.
Now that they have been able to demonstrate that they can implant the tissue in vivo for several weeks, the team’s next step is to show that the tissue can handle weight for an even longer period of time.
David Terraso | Newswise Science News
UNH researchers create a more effective hydrogel for healing wounds
21.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire
Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water
21.11.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology
Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.
Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
21.11.2018 | Life Sciences
21.11.2018 | Medical Engineering
21.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy