Experts from Imperial College London seem to have made advancement in the field of better understanding the process of growing replacement bones via stem cell technology. This is the process of implanting bone-like materials, derived and created from stem cells, in case of a fracture or part removal of the diseased bones.
The main idea behind such treatments is believed to be the ultimate insertion of these bone-like materials into cavities, so as to bind, heal and repair the bone. Seemingly, until now experts have found that in the lab they can grow small ‘nodules’ of these bone-like materials from various kinds of bone cells and stem cells. However they have also stressed on the need to further explore this area and gain a deeper understanding of the structure and chemical properties of these laboratory created materials.
“Many patients who have had bone removed because of tumors or accidents live in real pain. By repairing bone defect sites in the body with bone-like material that best mimics the properties of their real bone we could improve their lives immeasurably. Our study provides an important insight into how different cell sources can really influence the quality of bone that we can produce. It brings us one step closer to developing materials that will have the highest chance of success when implanted into patients,” says Professor Molly Stevens, from the Department of Materials and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London.
For the purpose of research on this topic, the experts were noted to have made use of laser-based raman spectroscopy, to evaluate the entire chemical structure of live cells while they grew. Apparently, even multivariate statistical analysis techniques were believed to have been used to tally and assess the information regarding the growth and development of various genres of cells. More so, even high-resolution electron microscopy and a nano-indenter were used for the purpose of investigating the obtained samples. These procedures were undergone for better understanding the stiffness of these bone-like materials and their structure at a microscopic level.
The research findings have been published in the journal Nature Materials.