Implantable BioPatch Grows Bones Where Needed

Scientists at the University of Iowa have created a patch-shaped implant containing particles of synthetic DNA. It instructs the patient's own cells to make protein, which leads to bone growth. The invention will help people who do not have enough bone to install dental implants, who have congenital bone defects, as well as those who have suffered as a result of various accidents.

The bioplaster has a special internal structure containing synthetically created plasmids (DNA molecules) encoded by the PDGF-B growth factor genome. When the adjacent cells get into the patch, the process of bone regeneration begins.

“When cells enter the bio-patch, they meet with plasmids and receive instructions from them. The cells then begin to produce PDGF-B, which enhances bone regeneration. " - says Professor Aliasjer Salem.

In laboratory tests, bio-patches were implanted into a 5 x 2 mm hole in the skull of a test animal. Four weeks later, the result was compared with experiments where patches without plasmids were used, or no action was taken at all: the bio-patch with plasmids showed a tenfold more effective level of bone regeneration.