NanoResCon2023: Regenerative medicine may undergo a revolution thanks to new nanotechnology that quickens the process by which stem cells become bone.

Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) have created a nanotechnology platform that may help them discover new treatments for bone ailments.

Iron nanowires that bend in reaction to magnetic fields are used in the procedure. The moving substrate provides a sort of physical workout for the bone-forming stem cells that are cultured on a mesh of these small wires. After that, they develop into adult bone far more quickly than in settings for standard culture, with a differentiation technique that takes only a few days as opposed to a few weeks.

The associate professor of biology Jasmeen Merzaban calls this discovery "extraordinary." It may be possible for bone regeneration to be more effective because "we can accomplish efficient bone cell creation in a shorter length of time." Merzaban co-led the investigation with Jürgen Kosel, a sensor expert, and others from both labs.

The capacity of the scientists' nanowire scaffold to produce bone was examined both with and without magnetic signals. Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) generated from bone marrow were then put on top of the minute wires, which had been shaped into an evenly spaced grid. The size of each of the minute wires is comparable to the tail-like extension observed on some bacteria.

With the hope that stem cell-seeded nanowire scaffolds can be safely implanted at injury sites and facilitate tissue repair, the KAUST team will next test its technology in mouse models of degenerative bone disease. To hasten the healing process, a magnetic field would be provided externally. 

A former Ph.D. student in Kosel's lab and study author Jose Efrain Perez sees potential applications in different illness scenarios. He notes that altering the matrix stiffness by changing the length and diameter of nanowires "may promote differential responses with MSCs." Alternatively, they may use different stem cell types to, for instance, encourage neuronal growth and brain regeneration following a stroke. 

Perez continues, "We may further tailor the nanowire scaffold itself or the base material, for example, by utilising various metals to harness their magnetic responses or coating the nanowires with biomolecules for potential release upon cellular contact."

Adapted nanowire scaffold for extremely effective mesenchymal stem cell development, Jose E. Perez, Bashaer Bajaber, Nouf Alsharif, Aldo I. Martnez-Banderas, Niketan Patel, Ainur Sharip, Enzo Di Fabrizio, Jasmeen Merzaban, and Jürgen Kosel, 16 June 2022, Journal of Nanobiotechnology. 
DOI: 10.1186/s12951-022-01488-5


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