Repairing Bones with Stem Cells
Researchers have developed a novel method of repairing skeletal system injuries using human bone marrow stem cells along with carbon material.
A new method to repair injured bone with the use of stem cells obtained from human bone marrow, along with a carbon material containing photocatalytic properties, has been reported. The recent study was affiliated with the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), which is is one of four South Korean public universities that are dedicated to research in technology and science.
The research was conducted by Professor Kwang S. Kim of Natural Science, Professor Pann-Ghill Suh of Life Sciences, Professor Youngkyo Seo of Life Sciences, Dr. Jitendra N. Tiwari of Chemistry, and seven other UNIST researchers.
The research team has the expectation that this breakthrough can lead to the enhancement of bone regeneration and development of what can hopefully lead to powerful treatments and a new medicine to effectively treat skeletal injuries, such as fractures, osteoporosis and periodontal disease. It may also be a useful tool for making artificial teeth and joints using 3-D printing.
The use of human mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) derived from bone marrow has previously been successfully tried in the treatment of fractures due to the potential to regenerate bone in patients who lost large amounts of bone from either trauma or disease. Attempts have also been made to enhance the function of stem cells with the use of carbon nanotubes, nano-oxides, and graphenes.
Professors Kim and Suh discovered that C3N4sheets absorb red light and then emit fluorescence that can be used to speed up the regeneration of bone. When released, the electrons induced the accumulation of calcium in the cytoplasm.
When Professor Suh conducted his biomedical application, cancer cells and stem cells were cultured in a medium that contained 200 µg/ml of C3N4sheets. After a testing of two days, the culture showed no cytotoxicity, making it useful as biomaterials including adjuvants for hard tissues such as damaged teeth and bones. It also acted on stem cells to differentiate into osteoblasts that promote mineral formation and accelerate bone formation.
The research was supported by the National Honor Scientist Program as well as the technology development project of the aging source promoted by the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
Jitendra N. Tiwari et al. Accelerated Bone Regeneration by Two-Photon Photoactivated Carbon Nitride Nanosheets, ACS Nano (2017). DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b07138