Scientists from Drexel University found a new type of ceramic scaffold that is highly potential to be applied as biomaterial to boost bone regeneration. And the effect has been approved in their studies, but the reason why the ceramic scaffold can be used to achieve the enhanced regeneration ability is unknown and under further probing.
Biomaterials are employed to fill the gap when big missing or injuries happened to bones. To find and develop a biomaterial that can speed up the growth rate of the injured bones counts. There are a great number of such material have been approved and available in the market, but none of them can play a role to boost the re-growing process but a simply being an intermediate that connect cells.
In general, the mechanism of the whole new ceramic scaffolds is to influence the activities of inflammatory cells, making them more regenerative. Macrophages are the primary cells influenced by the ceramic scaffold and are of greater power to grow make the injured bone recover more quickly.
Macrophage cells are flexible in react to boost the environment changes, but only in direct contact with the ceramic material that the potential of the cells can be presented in the form stronger regeneration ability.
Following on researches that tried to probe about the exact reason for the enhancement, gene expression of the cells were checked, both for the original state and the state in contact with the new material. It was found that the cells changed their gene expression when in contact with the ceramic material.
Still why the cells would change their gene expression and be more regenerative is unknown. It’s guessed that the soluble substance of the new material lead to the phenomenon, however, no evidence has been showed on that.
Of note the whole research was carried out in petri dishes with human primary cells, saving a great in both cost and animals that are involved in such tests. With the development of custom 3D cell culture culture services, it will be much easier to mimic the living environment in the near future.