New Hope for Patients with Severe Bone Loss

Written on |

Researchers induced bone regeneration with a special hydrogel that mimics the bone’s natural environment.

An innovative technology developed at Tel Aviv University will enable bone regeneration to correct large bone defects by means of a special hydrogel. Following successful tests in a lab model, the researchers now plan to move forward to clinical trials.

The groundbreaking study was conducted by experts from TAU’s Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, led by Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich and Dr. Michal Halperin-Sternfeld, in collaboration with Prof. Itzhak Binderman, Dr. Rachel Sarig, Dr. Moran Aviv, and researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The paper was published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Prof. Adler-Abramovich: “Small bone defects, such as fractures, heal spontaneously, with the body restoring the lost bone tissue. The problem begins with large bone defects. In many cases, when substantial bone loss results from tumor resection (removal by surgery), physical trauma, tooth extraction, gum disease or inflammation around dental implants, the bone is unable to renew itself. In the current study, we developed a hydrogel that mimics the natural substances in the extracellular matrix of bones, stimulating bone growth and reactivating the immune system to accelerate the healing process.”

The researchers explain that the extracellular matrix is the substance surrounding our cells, providing them with structural support. Every type of tissue in our body has a specific extracellular matrix consisting of suitable substances with the right mechanical properties. The new hydrogel has a fibrillary structure that mimics that of the extracellular matrix of the natural bone. Furthermore, it is rigid, thus enabling the patient’s cells to differentiate into bone-forming cells.

 

WATCH: Lab of Bioinspired Materials: A Tour with TAU Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich

 

“As can be expected, the extracellular matrix of our bones is quite rigid,” says Prof. Adler-Abramovich. “In our study, we produced a hydrogel that mimics this specific matrix in both chemical and physical properties. At the nanometric level, the cell can attach itself to the gel, gaining structural support and receiving relevant mechanical signals from the fibers. At first, to test these properties, we grew cells in a 3D model of the gel. Then we examined the impact of the hydrogel on model animals with large bone defects that could not heal spontaneously. We monitored them for two months with various methods, including Micro C.T. To our delight, the bone defects were fully corrected through regeneration, with the bones regaining their original thickness, and generating new blood vessels.”

According to Prof. Adler-Abramovich, the innovative gel has extensive clinical applications in both orthopedic and dental medicine: “When we lose teeth due to extensive damage or bacterial infections, the standard treatment is dental implants. Implants, however, must be anchored in a sufficient amount of bone, and when bone loss is too substantial, physicians implant additional bone from a healthy part of the body – a complex medical procedure. Another option is adding bone substitutes from either human or animal sources, but these might generate an immune response. I hope that in the future the hydrogel we have developed will enable faster, safer, and simpler bone restoration.”  

Featured image: The research team

Related posts

Are Today’s Gynecologists Ignoring Women’s Health Issues?

30 November 2022

Removal of Cancerous Tumors Without Surgery

22 November 2022

Pressure Chamber Therapy Effective in Improvement of Autism

8 November 2022

Breakthrough Treatment May Improve Efficacy of Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer Patients

8 November 2022

Ukrainian Citizens Display High Resilience Amid Fighting

2 November 2022

Improving the Well-being of Women with BRCA Gene, Responsible for Breast Cancer

19 October 2022

Slowing Down Skin Cancer

22 September 2022

Covid-19 Antibodies May Eliminate Need for Boosters

11 September 2022

Scientific discovery may facilitate speedy, objective, and accurate diagnosis of the condition using saliva

14 August 2022

Tiny Molecule Makes Big Impact on Cancer Treatment

12 August 2022

New Learning Method for People with Autism

4 August 2022

CRISPR Therapeutics can Damage the Genome

1 August 2022

Tel Aviv University Researchers Develop Long Covid Treatment

24 July 2022

While You Were Sleeping

13 July 2022

Victoria

Tok Corporate Centre, Level 1,
459 Toorak Road, Toorak VIC 3142
Phone: +61 3 9296 2065
Email: office@aftau.asn.au

New South Wales

P.O. Box 4044, Maroubra South,
NSW 2035
Phone: +61 418 465 556
Email: davidsolomon@aftau.org.au

Western Australia

P O Box 36, Claremont,
WA  6010
Phone: :+61 411 223 550
Email: clivedonner@thelinqgroup.com