Don’t you just love the advancements that are made in the name of medical science? If you have answered in the affirmative, then you would be pleased to hear about help being on the way for those who lack the quantity of bone to support dental implants, or those who happen to be missing some bone due to a birth defect, as well as others who have suffered from bone-damaging injuries. Scientists over at the University of Iowa have managed to come up with an implantable collagen patch that has been seeded with particles which contain synthetic DNA, where these will be able to instruct the patient’s own cells so that they can produce the protein which will then (keep your fingers crossed) lead to bone growth.
Just like other bone-growing patches, this “bio-patch” will feature a scaffolding-like interior structure, where it has been shaped to the size of the area where the new bone is required. Held within that scaffolding would be synthetically-created plasmids (DNA molecules) that have been encoded for a growth factor that is called PDGF-B. Whenever cells from the adjacent existing bone grow into the patch, this is when the healing process kicks off.
Prof. Aliasger Salem said, “The delivery mechanism is the scaffold loaded with the plasmid. When cells migrate into the scaffold, they meet with the plasmid, they take up the plasmid, and they get the encoding to start producing PDGF-B, which enhances bone regeneration.”