To test how the cells grow on the scaffold itself, the team incubated cultured bone cells
on its surface for different lengths of time.
The key step that we are finding out is that it is this initial interaction with proteins that the bone cells
are responding to," says Webster.
Chemical cues have been known to work in cases where researchers have identified the proper additives: a hormone in the case of bone cells
They then used human stem cells derived from bone marrow that would normally become bone cells
to test the effects of the nanoparticles on stem cell proliferation and differentiation.
Using bone samples from people undergoing hip replacement surgery, researchers from the University of Southampton were able to show that the drug - a protein that activates a molecular pathway called the 'Wnt' pathway - causes stem cells found within bones to divide and to turn into more bone cells
Among specific topics are bone modeling and remodeling, skeletal hard tissue biomechanics, skeletal growth and development, hormonal effects on bone cells
, and pharmaceutical treatments of osteoporosis.
The study is novel in that the researchers directly delivered bone-producing instructions (using piece of DNA that encodes for a platelet-derived growth factor called PDGF-B) to existing bone cells
in vivo, allowing those cells to produce the proteins that led to more bone production.
Broken bones and joint replacements someday may heal faster, thanks to an unusual coating for medical implants under development, reports the journal Ceramics International, as researchers have found that bone cells
grow and reproduce faster on a textured surface than they do on a smooth one--and they grow best when they can cling to a microscopic shag carpet made of tiny metal oxide wires.
The findings confirmed previous work showing that tributyltin affects the regulation of body fat production and reprograms certain stem cells to become fat cells rather than bone cells
Libera has been awarded a patent titled “Surfaces Differentially Adhesive to Bacteria & Eukaryotic Cells” for a technology that repels bacteria and promotes the growth of bone cells
around an implant.
The ability to control whether certain stem cells ultimately become bone cells
holds great promise for regenerative medicine and potential therapies aimed at treating metabolic bone diseases.