BMP-2 Delivered in Hydrogel to Guide Bone Regrowth
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Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) has been used to spur healing in regenerative medicine research in past years. Here researchers are investigating its use in bone regrowth: scientists are "concentrating on the creation of new bone tissue with the aid of a biomolecule called BMP-2, which is a protein that makes bones grow. The problem with BMP-2 is that it breaks down in the body in just a few minutes. ... What's new, and what I show in my dissertation, is that by having a gel-like substance carry the protein, a so-called hydrogel, you can control both how and where the new bone is to grow ... This hydrogel can be injected and is moreover made from a type of sugar (hyaluronic acid). It occurs naturally in the body in humans and animals and is otherwise used in cosmetic products for treating wrinkles. This offers major advantages. ... On the one hand, you avoid open surgery and the risk of complications and infections that entails, and, on the other hand, there is no risk that the body will reject it. ... Applications in healthcare include both healing complicated bone fractures and growing bone tissue where there is too little or none at all. This involves defects following bone fractures and cancer or when the jawbone is too weak to support a tooth implant. Clinical testing is already underway. ... The tests show that it's working well, but the problem we need to solve is how to determine the optimal dosage of the protein. Otherwise inflammations can occur in surrounding tissue."

Link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-05-smart-material-bone.html

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