May 15, 2017 06:22 AM EDT
A group of scientists from the NanoBioCel group in the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Pharmacy has developed a new temporary scaffold for damaged bone tissues. This new discovery is said to be ultimately helpful especially to those who have critical bone defects.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, bone scaffolding or bone grafts are used to replace of regenerate lost bones. One way is to incorporate bone progenitor cells and growth factors to stimulate cells.
The newly discovered scaffold is derived from the by-product of collagen which is a gelatin that is produced when collagen is processed. Their aim is to make a biodegradable material to lessen the risk of rejection. This gelatin is proven to be less cytotoxic that the collagen itself.
The scientists also used a molecule extracted from genipin, the fruit of gardenia, for the cohesion of the scaffolding and the polymerization of the proteins in the gelatin. Genipin is an environmental friendly product and has already been used by Chinese medicine as a blue food colorant as reported by the Western Oregon University.
Aside from its ability to sustain mesenchymal stem cells, this scaffold is also designed to regenerate the bone matrix and to release growth factors that the body needs. The scientists said that the proteins in this scaffold are capable of signaling the cells of what they should do and will improve the regeneration process.
Once the scaffolding was been made, it was subjected to an array of tests and processes to explore its properties together with its biocompatibility and possible toxicity. The results were all successful and the test cells all responded better than expected.
The scientists aim to take in a new model for carrying out more of these tests in animals. They plan on gradually improving what they have achieved and to incorporate other elements such as calcium or other growth factors to enhance regeneration.
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