Friday, March 7, 2008

Researchers control growth rate of replacement blood vessels, tissues

University of Michigan researchers have developed a new technique for administering growth factor to heal injuries. It combines nanotechnology with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). As Wikipedia puts it, PDGF is "one of the numerous growth factors, or proteins that regulate cell growth and division. In particular, it plays a significant role in blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), the growth of blood vessels from already existing blood vessel tissue."

The following is from the UofM News Service:

Researchers put platelet-derived growth factor into nanoparticles and then attached them to a lattice-like, biodegradable scaffold. In experiments, the growth factor recruited cells that stimulate the body's own machinery responsible for healing, said (Peter) Ma, whose lab developed the scaffold and the nanoparticles.

As the tissue grows, it crawls into the scaffold, which eventually dissolves.

"Growth factor is typically dumped in and releases over a period of hours," said (William) Giannobile, who also directs the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research. "With certain wounds you might want a lot (of growth factor) in the beginning, and with others you might want a little released over a longer period of time. We've basically found a way to dial up or dial down the release rate of these growth factors."

Their results are available at the Public Library of Science.

More information on the images above.

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