Texas A & M researchers develop a new therapeutic approach to treat osteoarthritis


PICTURE: Two-dimensional nanoparticles interacting with stem cells and directing differentiation to the cartilage line.
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Credit: Texas A & M University College of Engineering

Researchers at Texas A & M University, led by Dr. Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, have come up with a new way to provide treatment for cartilage regeneration.

Gaharwar, an assistant professor in the Texas A & M Biomedical Engineering Department, said the nanoclay-based platform for sustained and sustained delivery of therapeutic proteins could have an impact on the treatment of osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that affects nearly 27 million Americans and is caused by a breakdown. cartilage that can cause damage to the underlying bone.

With the aging of the American population, the number of cases of osteoarthritis will probably increase. One of the biggest challenges in treating osteoarthritis and subsequent joint damage is repairing the damaged tissue, especially since the cartilage tissue is difficult to regenerate.

A method of repairing or regenerating damaged cartilage tissue involves administering therapeutic growth factors. Growth factors are a special class of protein that can contribute to tissue repair and regeneration. However, current versions of growth factors decompose rapidly and require a high dose to reach a therapeutic potential. Recent clinical studies have shown significant adverse effects for this type of treatment, including uncontrolled tissue formation and inflammation.

In the Texas A & M study, published in Applied materials and interfaces ACSGaharwar's laboratory has designed two-dimensional (2D) mineral nanoparticles to provide growth factors over an extended period of time to overcome this disadvantage. These nanoparticles offer high surface area and dual charge characteristics that allow easy electrostatic fixation of growth factors.

"These nanoparticles could extend the delivery of growth factors to human mesenchymal stem cells, which are commonly used in cartilage regeneration," Gaharwar said. "The sustained release of growth factors has helped to differentiate stem cells to the cartilage lineage and can be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis."

"By using the nanoparticle for therapeutic purposes, it is possible to induce a robust and stable differentiation of stem cells," said Dr. Lauren M. Cross, lead author of the study and research assistant of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. "In addition, prolonged administration of the growth factor could reduce overall costs by reducing growth factor concentration and minimizing negative side effects."


The research was funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

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