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Gene therapy promising for growing tooth-supporting bone

to cells and use their genetic machinery.

Once inside the cell, the viruses help BMP-7 genes get where they need to be in the host's cells to boost bone production. Gene expression producing BMP-7 proteins peaked after a week. Giannobile said that was ideal because the team did not want to make any permanent genetic changes. The gene acted quickly to get bone growth started, then disappeared within about 28 days.

Giannobile said a next step in this process could include looking for non-viral approaches to delivering gene therapy to the defect site. Alternatively, scientists could conduct the gene therapy outside the body using a tissue biopsy and then transplant the genetically-modified cells back into the patient, but this would require two surgical procedures instead of one.

The Molecular Therapy paper is titled "BMP Gene Delivery for Alveolar Bone Engineering at Dental Implant Defects," and the work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Giannobile is part of a cross-campus program called Tissue Engineering at Michigan, funded in part by the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research. TEAM aims to provide an interdisciplinary, research-intensive environment for those pursuing careers in the oral sciences, with a focus in the area of restoration of oral-craniofacial tissues.

Co-authors on the paper include Courtney A. Dunn, adjunct clinical lecturer in orthodontics; Qiming Jin, research associate in periodontics, prevention and geriatrics; Mario Taba Jr., research fellow in periodontics, prevention and geriatrics; Renny T. Franceschi, associate dean for research and professor of periodontics, prevention and geriatrics, all at the U-M School of Dentistry. Francesci also is a professor of biological chemistry. R. Bruce Rutherford, a former U-M Dentistry professor who now serves as chief scientific officer of private tissue engineering firm Ivo
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Source:University of Michigan


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