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Nano-Shells Deliver Molecules That Instruct Bone To Repair Itself Developed

First Posted: Jan 14, 2016 11:54 AM EST

Researchers have created a polymer sphere that delivers a molecule to bone wounds, where the molecule tells existing cells at the injury to repair the damage. The polymer sphere introduces the microRNA molecule in the cells, where it improves the function of existing cells to an injury repair, according to a study at the University of Michigan. The molecule simply instructs the cells' healing and bone-building abilities to respond to the injury.

"The new technology we have been working on opens doors for new therapies using DNA and RNA in regenerative medicine and boosts the possibility of dealing with other challenging human diseases," Peter Ma, lead author of the study, said in a news release.

The researchers compared the new technology to a supervisor instructing an office cleaning crew to construct an addition to the building. The use of existing cells to repair wounds reduces the need for foreign cells, which could be difficult, since cells have their own personalities. Sometimes a host could reject foreign cells or tumors, according to Ma.

The new technology can help to grow bone in the human body and it can be applied in conditions like oral implants, bone surgeries and joint repairs and with persons who have tooth decay.

Ma and his team were able to heal bone wounds in osteoporotic mice, when they tested their new technology. The researchers' intend to apply the technology in large animals, where it will be evaluated to eventually be used in humans.

The findings of this study were published in the journal Nature Communications.

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