Navigation Links
From the dust -- mixing stem cells with clay to regenerate human tissue

Gels made from clay could provide an environment that would stimulate stem cells to regenerate damaged tissues such as bone, skin, heart, spinal cord, liver, pancreas and cornea.

Researchers at the University of Southampton believe that clay particles' ability to bind to biological molecules could be used to stimulate the stem cell regeneration process.

Dr Jon Dawson, who is leading the research, explains: "Clay particles encourage molecules to bind to them. This interaction is now routinely harnessed in the design of tablets to carefully control the release and action of a drug. We will use this mechanism to see if we can encourage stem cells to grow new tissue."

The project, funded by a 1.4m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), aims to create tailormade micro-environments to foster stem cell regeneration. The team will use clay gels both to explore the biological signals necessary to successfully control stem cell behaviour for regeneration and also to provide stem cells with signals to stimulate regeneration in the body.

The approach will first be applied to regenerate bone lost to cancer or hip replacement failure. If successful the same technology may be applied to harness stem cells for the treatment of a whole host of different scenarios, from burn victims to those suffering with diabetes or Parkinson's.

Dr Dawson will be working with Professor Richard Oreffo of the Bone and Joint Research Group at the University of Southampton to explore the application of this technology in orthopaedics. "Fractures and bone loss due to trauma or disease are a significant clinical and socioeconomic problem," Dr Dawson comments. "Clay particles could offer an improved way of stimulating stem cells at the point of injury, which will be better for the patient's recovery."

Dr Dawson believes that the rich electrostatic properties of nano scale clay particles, which are one millionth of a millimetre, could overcome two challenges in the development of stem-cell based regenerative therapies.

The first challenge to deliver and hold stem cells at the right location in the body would be met by the ability of clay to self-organise into gels via the electrostatic interactions of the particles with each other. Cells mixed with a low concentration of clay particles gelled in water, can be injected into the body and held in the right place by the gel, eliminating, in many situations, the need for surgery.

Clay particles can also interact with large structural molecules (polymers) which are frequently used in the development of scaffolds, which stem cells grow on. These interactions can greatly improve the scaffold's strength and could be applied to preserve their stability at the site of injury until regeneration is complete.

While several gels and scaffold materials have been designed to deliver and hold stem cells at the site of regeneration, the ability of clay nanoparticles to overcome a second critical hurdle facing stem-cell therapy is what makes them especially exciting.

Dr Dawson says: "The carefully controlled provision of key biological signalling molecules is essential to directing the activity of stem-cells. However, conventional injectable gel materials are often poor at retaining these biological signals at the site of injury they can hold and deliver cells, but the molecules that stimulate the cells diffuse away when placed in the body. The ability of clay nanoparticles to bind biological molecules presents a unique opportunity to control the local environment at a site of injury or disease to stimulate and control stem-cell driven repair. This is something we are very excited about."


Contact: Becky Attwood
University of Southampton

Related medicine news :

1. Water-based engine propels tumor cells through tight spaces in the body
2. UNC researchers discover master regulator role for little-known protein in cancer cells
3. Brain tumor cells penetrated by tiny, degradable particles carrying genetic instructions
4. A civil war inside our cells: Scientists show how our bodies fight off jumping genes
5. Scientists find way to target cells resistant to chemo
6. Boring cells could hold the key to heart disease
7. Following a proteins travel inside cells is key to improving patient monitoring, drug development
8. Dustman protein helps bin cancer cells
9. Efficient analysis of small quantity of cells improves chances to understand disease
10. New human trial shows stem cells are effective for failing hearts
11. Plasma tool for destroying cancer cells
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
From the dust -- mixing stem cells with clay to regenerate human tissue
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a ... has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ... accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. ... a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical ... Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. ... honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events ... Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the ... The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the ... the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best ... alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy ... to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the improvement ... Innovative Design ... ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza ... Care is helping communities across Massachusetts , ... no-cost* flu shots through the end of the month. *Some ... ... flu shot is by the end of October, according to the Centers ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Halo Labs announces the European ... system called the HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in Cambridge, ... and visible particulate matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed and ... the novel technique Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... The HORIZON subvisible particle analysis system ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: