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Chemical that could boost biomaterials

Wednesday January 9th, 2019

British scientists have unveiled a new technique aimed at “revolutionising” the use of traditional materials in wound healing and implants.

A chemical, known as TrAP, can enable materials to interact with the body’s natural repair mechanisms, according to developers at Imperial College, London.

A team led by Dr Ben Almquist at Imperial College looked at a new method using "direct, localised activation of bioactivity". The say this "may provide a novel strategy for creating autonomous biomaterial scaffolds that have the potential to function as dynamic platforms both in model in vitro systems and within the body.”

In Advanced Materials on Monday (7 January), the team report on a new molecule they have created to improve this process, called Traction force-Activated Payloads. This allows materials to interact with natural repair systems to improve healing by recreating the natural healing method.

The new molecule can also be designed to release specific proteins based on which cells are present nearby, tailoring its interaction with cells during wound repair.

Dr Almquist commented: "Using cell movement to activate healing is found in creatures ranging from sea sponges to humans. Our approach mimics them and actively works with the different varieties of cells that arrive in our damaged tissue over time to promote healing.

"This sort of intelligent, dynamic healing is useful during every phase of the healing process, has the potential to increase the body's chance to recover, and has far-reaching uses on many different types of wounds."

Stejskalova, A. et al. Biologically Inspired, Cell-Selective Release of Aptamer-Trapped Growth Factors by Traction Forces. Advanced Materials 7 January 2019; doi: 10.1002/adma.201806380

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adma.201806380

Tags: Internal Medicine | UK News

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