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Carnegie Mellon's Jeffrey Hollinger Leads Research Team Developing New Tools To Ease Pain of Combat Injuries
Date:8/31/2012

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A multidisciplinary research team led by Carnegie Mellon University is developing new nanostructural polymer-based treatments to eliminate pathological bone formation in soft tissue, a common occurrence following orthopedic surgeries and amputations.  

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"Our tactic is to develop a solution that will control the pathological growth of bone in muscle and tendons (called heterotopic ossification) that frequently occurs following bone trauma and orthopedic surgery," said Jeffrey O. Hollinger, professor of biomedical engineering and biological sciences, and head of CMU's Bone Tissue Engineering Center.

"When bone is severely injured and amputation of a limb is necessary, or as a consequence of major orthopedic procedures, unwanted new bone formation occurs in the soft tissues surrounding the operated bone and appears as pieces of gravel-like bone. Consequently, there is pain and discomfort at an amputation stump where a prosthesis is secured. We are developing a therapy that will eliminate heterotopic ossification," he added.

Data suggests heterotopic ossification occurs in more than 60 percent of military personnel who incur bone injury resulting in limb amputation. Therefore, the CMU labs of J.C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences and Chemistry Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski are using a three-year, $2.93 million grant from the Department of Defense to work with researchers at the United States Military Academy at West Point, the University of Michigan and the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., to produce a therapeutic solution to eliminate heterotopic ossification.   

Hollinger, the principal investigator for the grant, said the patient-centric focus of the team's research includes a nanostructural polymer composite devel
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