More On Bone Scaffolds and Stem Cells

The sophistication of scaffolds in research for regenerative medicine continues to advance. From the Technology Review: researchers "created a new tissue-engineering material that could help cells survive the harsh transplant environment - a key step in cell-transplant therapies. Scientists are now testing the material in animals to see how well it can help heal fractures. ... Creating instructional biomaterials like this is an entirely new way of thinking about what could be put in the human body. It could become an important component of regenerative medicine ... [scientists] have developed materials called comb scaffolds that have been employed for a variety of tissue-engineering uses, such as growing new blood vessels. The comb consists of a Plexiglas backbone studded with molecular tethers that can hold different protein growth factors at their tips. In their latest round of experiments, the researchers modified the scaffold to hold epidermal growth factor (EGF) molecules, a protein that plays a role in growth and differentiation of many cells, including stem cells. ... adult stem cells grown on the EGF scaffolds were better able to survive. And preliminary evidence suggests that the scaffold also boosts cell proliferation, potentially increasing the number of cells available to make new bone after transplantation."

Link: http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/18274/

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