Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Next-Generation Biomaterials To Help Body Heal Itself

Date:
February 11, 2002
Source:
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine
Summary:
The next generation of biomaterials will help the body heal itself by prompting cells to repair their own tissues, scientists report. Writing in a review in the journal Science, Professors Larry Hench and Julia Polak of Imperial College, London, highlight the potential of 'third generation' biomaterials that activate specific cells and genes of the individual they are implanted into.

The next generation of biomaterials will help the body heal itself by prompting cells to repair their own tissues, scientists report.

Writing in a review in the journal Science, Professors Larry Hench and Julia Polak of Imperial College, London, highlight the potential of 'third generation' biomaterials that activate specific cells and genes of the individual they are implanted into.

Pioneering work by the two authors recently led to the discovery of a family of bone formation genes that can be regulated by bioactive materials. This discovery is already being used to create a new generation of biomaterials for regeneration and repair of tissue.

The authors also signal a new era in biomaterials, calling for research emphasis to shift from replacement to regeneration of tissues.

Professor Hench, discoverer of Bioglass (R) and author of a 1980 Science review of the field, said:

"The advantage of the new approach is that the body's own genes control the tissue repair process. The result is equivalent to natural tissues in that the new structure is living and adaptable to the physiological environment. It is the scientific basis for us to design a new generation of gene-activating biomaterials tailored for specific patients and disease states."

In the last two years a group at Imperial College Tissue Engineering Centre headed by Professor Polak has analysed how human cells behave when they are attached to scaffolds of a specific bioactive material.

They demonstrated that key genes of bone cells involved in bone formation are activated when a bioactive material designed and configured for the purpose of bone formation is brought together with it. At the same time other genes, normally activated when fat or other tissues are formed, were down regulated.

"In the future we may only need to implant the carefully calculated chemical ingredients of the biomaterial, rather than a 'finished' biomaterial itself, in order to repair tissue," said Professor Hench.

"By designing these very specific molecular scaffolds for repair of tissues and using minimally invasive surgery to implant them, this technique could have a major clinical application."

"Perhaps of even more importance is the possibility that bioactive stimuli can be used to activate genes in a preventative treatment to maintain the health of tissues as they age," he said.

Their review tracks the development of the field from the 1960s to the present day, in a special edition of the journal on the 'Bionic Human.'

In the 1960's and 1970's, the first generation of biomaterials was developed for use inside the human body. A key feature of these biomaterials is their biological inertness, which minimises the body's response to the foreign body. The authors estimate that tens of millions of individuals have had their quality of life enhanced for 5 to 25 years through such implants.

In 1984 a major shift began with a second generation of materials that become activated in a controlled way when implanted in the body. 'Bioactive' materials such as glasses, ceramics and composites have since been used in a variety of orthopaedic and dental applications. 'Resorbable' biomaterials that are slowly broken down and replaced by regenerating tissues appeared at the same time.

However the authors state that survivability rates of skeletal prostheses and artificial heart valves show that a third to half of prostheses fail within 10-25 years, meaning that many patients require revision surgery.

The article is one of 9 reports on the topic 'Bodybuilding: The Bionic Human', covered in Science this week.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. "Next-Generation Biomaterials To Help Body Heal Itself." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020208080313.htm>.
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. (2002, February 11). Next-Generation Biomaterials To Help Body Heal Itself. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020208080313.htm
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. "Next-Generation Biomaterials To Help Body Heal Itself." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/02/020208080313.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

AFP (July 24, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th - prompting hundreds in Virginia to turn out for a free clinic run by “Remote Area Medical”. Duration 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins