U of Michigan researchers explore new method of bone and soft tissue regeneration
University of Michigan researchers are exploring a potential therapy for bone and soft tissue regeneration, according to a recent announcement. Marrying high-intensity focused ultrasound with genetically modified cells may spur bone and soft tissue regeneration.Mario Fabiilli, Ph.D., a research assistant professor of radiology and Renny Franceschi, Ph.D., a professor of periodontics and oral medicine at U-M, co-lead a team that explored a potential therapy for bone and soft tissue regeneration, according to the article.
Their research was recently published in the journal Biomaterials. Fabiilli is a BMES member.
The team, consisting of researchers from a broad range of fields including biomedical engineering and dentistry, found that using high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, a method approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating various diseases, can spur tissue regeneration when coupled with genetically modified cells that contain a “gene switch." the article states.
By design, the gene switch controls expression of a molecule, similar to a growth factor. However, Fabiilli and his team's gene switch was novel because it required both heat shock and a ligand for activation: “When we heated the cells just 5 to 8 degrees Celsius above body temperature in the presence of a specific activating ligand, the gene switch is turned on, thus stimulating gene expression. It was really interesting to observe,” Fabiilli says.
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