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Nanotechnology

Designer Molecules Speed Bone Repair

20 years, 4 months ago

8215  0
Posted on Sep 22, 2002, 12 p.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers at Northwestern University have managed to recreate the microscopic structure of bone by using "designer" molecules that can be encouraged to assemble themselves into so-called "nanostructures" that mimic the appearance of collagen fibers. If the nanostructures can be incorporated into a gel, it is possible that they could be placed into the gaps between fractures to enhance the natural healing process of bone, therefore the molecules could be highly beneficial to people with serious fractures, joint replacement patients, and those with bone cancer.

Researchers at Northwestern University have managed to recreate the microscopic structure of bone by using "designer" molecules that can be encouraged to assemble themselves into so-called "nanostructures" that mimic the appearance of collagen fibers. If the nanostructures can be incorporated into a gel, it is possible that they could be placed into the gaps between fractures to enhance the natural healing process of bone, therefore the molecules could be highly beneficial to people with serious fractures, joint replacement patients, and those with bone cancer. Researchers believe that it may also be possible to develop nanostructures that attract different types of cells, for example nerve or cartilage cells, thus enabling scientists to regenerate other types of damaged tissues.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 25th November 2001

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