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New Hydrogel to promote bone healing

Bioengineers from UCLA have developed and published findings about their new clay-enhanced hydrogel which promotes bone healing. The finding published describes how the gel was injected into a mouse which was suffering from a skull defect.

The findings show that the hydrogel induced the migration of naturally occurring stem cells, which in turn aided the mouse in the bone healing process.

Unfortunately, the hydrogel is still in its early days as the process is still fairly expensive and like all medical interventions, can come with side effects. Saying this, the clay-enhanced hydrogel, is able to repair and regenerate tissue in the surrounding areas as the structure of the gel is similar to that of living tissue.

In order to help overcome the issues of price and side effects, the UCLA have said the clay can be added as not only is it biocompatible, but also has shown any negative effects. In fact, the addition to clay to the hydrogel can make the gel perform better as it is more porous.

The mouse within 6 weeks of using this clay-enhanced hydrogel was found to have signs of significant bone healing.

“This research will help us develop the next generation of hydrogel systems with high porosity and could greatly improve current bone graft materials,” said lead author Min Lee, professor of biomaterials science at the UCLA School of Dentistry and a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre. “Our nanocomposite hydrogel system will be useful for many applications, including therapeutic delivery, cell carriers and tissue engineering.”

You can read more here: The Engineer

Photo Credit here: The Engineer

Details

Category

engineering

Date

August 22, 2019

Author

Sally

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