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Duke University Researchers Develop Bandage that Accelerates Bone Injury Healing

Researchers at Duke University have created a bandage that captures and holds a pro-healing molecule at the site of a bone break to speed up and improve the natural healing course.

In proof-of-principle research with mice, the bandage helped to accelerate callus creation and vascularization to realize bone repair by three weeks.

The study points toward a usual method for improving bone repair after the damage that might be applied to medical merchandise resembling biodegradable bandages, implant coatings, or bone grafts for essential defects.

In 2014, Shyni Varghese, professor of biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and materials science, and orthopedics at Duke, was studying how popular biomaterials made from calcium phosphate speed up bone repair and regeneration. Her laboratory found that the biomolecule adenosine performs a big role in spurring bone growth.

After additional study, they observed that the body naturally floods the area around a new bone injury with the professional-healing adenosine molecules, however, those locally high ranges are quickly metabolized and do not last long. Varghese wondered if sustaining these elevated levels for longer would help the therapeutic course.

Varghese’s solution was to let the body direct the levels of adenosine while helping the biochemical stick around the damage a little bit longer. She and Yuze Zeng, a graduate pupil in Varghese’s laboratory, engineered a biomaterial bandage applied directly to the broken bone that comprises boronate molecules that grab onto the adenosine. Nonetheless, the bonds between the particles don’t last long, which enables a sluggish release of adenosine from the bandage without collecting elsewhere in the body.

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