There has recently been a big breakthrough in science that could have huge and long-lasting effects. Recently, scientists from the University of Michigan have developed a polymer sphere that works by delivering a molecule to an individual’s bones and tells cells that are already at the site of the injury to assist in helping with the damage repair at the site.
Now you may be asking, how does this work? Well, by using the polymer spheres they developed to introduce the microRNA molecule into cells, this process elevates the duties that existing cells to that of injury repair by instructing the cells’ healing mechanisms to come on. This is extremely beneficial because, by using existing cells to repair wounds, this nullifies the need to introduce foreign cells to help with the repair, which can be a difficult thing to do.
These findings by scientists were put into publication in the Jan. 14 issue of Nature Communications. The scientists claim that their technology can help grow bone in people with conditions like oral implants, those who are undergoing different kinds of bone surgery or joint repair, and also people with tooth decay, with the potential for other uses in the future.
While it is normally very difficult form MicroRNA to breach cell walls on its own, the polymer spheres developed by these scientists had no trouble at all with entry into the cells.
While this breakthrough has only been done on small animals such as mice, they are eager to begin working on different things as well. The next step is to study the technology in large animals and evaluate it for use in humans in the future.
Millions of people around the world suffer from bone loss or decay (and the various problems in functionality that come along with this) so this type of breakthrough could have huge impacts on the lives of these individuals and help them to lead a longer and healthier life.