Grow new cells to damaged bone tissue
Stem cells can be an important treatment for various types of broken bones in the future. But how will you get the cells to multiply and have a good quality?
Illness or injury can cause significant damage to the bones in different parts of our body, and this is one of the biggest challenges surgeons encounter.
For example, periodontal disease cause the bones of the jaw gradually broken down and the teeth loose. When there is so little legs again, it will be difficult to insert new teeth.
Everything from accidents to disease and birth defects can cause major damage to the bone, and bone is currently the most transplanted tissue with over a million transplants each year in Europe alone.
The disease periodontitis causes the bones of the jaw gradually broken down and the teeth loose.
The most common way to repair such damage today is to operate in the bone from other parts of the patient's body. However, it has several negative consequences for the patient, that great pain and risk of infection after surgery.
In addition, there is also danger that the new bone tissue dissolves, and as much as half may disappear over time.
Growing stem cells
The researchers are therefore working to find alternative ways to replace the bone on. One of the most promising methods is to use stem cells that can develop into beinvevsproduserende cells. There is currently clinical trials using stem cells for regeneration of various tissues.
Our bodies do not make stem cells that can be used for purposes other than the intended purpose. Researchers must obtain a dose and get them to multiply in the laboratory and then put them into the body again.
It may sound simple, but it is an advanced gardener job that needed to get stem cells to grow and thrive - both outside and inside the body.
First, one must find the right kind of stem cells. The cells are also dependent on an appropriate SCAFFOLD, which is a kind of three-dimensional scaffold to ensure that the cells grow in the right shape. And third, the cells need so-called growth factors, which can be viewed as a form of fertilizer.
Scaffolding with new materials
Researchers at the Tissue Engineering Group at the University of Bergen has jumped on the challenge of providing good growing conditions for stem cells.
After four years with funding from the Research Council's program for stem cell research, the results are so promising that the project has been expanded and included in international cooperation projects in the 7th Framework Programme.
- The measures we have tested, shows that stem cells are a promising approach to regenerate bone tissue. Use of stem cells in tissue engineering are promising compared with the traditional treatment, says Prof. Kamal Mustafa.
He has taken over the project and professor Emirates Kristina Arvidson.
The researchers, among other things, tested out new combinations of materials in the scaffolding that cells will grow. Many of the materials used today, break too easily, has a surface that the cells will not adhere well to the , or may cause side effects when they are implanted in the body.
The injuries heal better
Researchers in Bergen believe they have found a good mix of synthetic drugs. Through collaboration with various research laboratories in Europe going intensive research to find specific "building materials" to match different needs.
The aim is that these materials will break down quickly fit in the body, in line with the new bone structure develops and finally do without the support of SCAFFOLD.
Another challenge is that stem cells do not form many blood vessels and thus do not get food. The result will be that the cells die after they are transplanted into the body.
Mustafa and his colleagues believe, however, a combination of stem cells and endothelial cells, which is an important component of blood vessels, may be the solution to the problem.
- The cells in the laboratory, we have seen that endothelial cells have a significant impact on stem cells continued development. We have also seen that the injuries to the bones of rats heal better with this method.
Aiming for experiments on humans
he researchers in Bergen are now planning experiments on large animals, and if the results from there also are good, the clinical trials on humans.
A number of new ideas and hypotheses should also be tested, including in collaboration with researchers in Japan, Germany, France, Sweden, Austria and the United States.
The aim of the research group in Bergen is to end up with a clinical tool that can be used to repair bone damage.
- If we succeed in establishing this treatment in clinical practice, we will be able to offer a more ideal treatment to the millions of patients worldwide with differing needs for bone transplants.