Researchers use synthetic silicate to stimulate stem cells into bone cells

May 14, 2013
Silicate nanoplatelets cause stem cells to become bone cells, as determined by the formation of bone matrix (in red). Credit: Khademhosseini lab

In new research published online May 13, 2013 in Advanced Materials, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) are the first to report that synthetic silicate nanoplatelets (also known as layered clay) can induce stem cells to become bone cells without the need of additional bone-inducing factors. Synthetic silicates are made up of simple or complex salts of silicic acids, and have been used extensively for various commercial and industrial applications, such as food additives, glass and ceramic filler materials, and anti-caking agents.

Silicate nanoplatelets cause stem cells to become , as determined by the formation of (in red). Image courtesy of Khademhosseini lab.

"With an aging population in the US, injuries and degenerative conditions are subsequently on the rise," said Ali Khademhosseini, PhD, BWH Division of Biomedical Engineering, senior study author. "As a result, there is an increased demand for therapies that can repair damaged tissues. In particular, there is a great need for new materials that can direct and facilitate functional tissue formation. Silicate nanoplatelets have the potential to address this need in medicine and biotechnology."

"Based on the strong preliminary studies, we believe that these highly bioactive nanoplatelets may be utilized to develop devices such as injectable tissue repair matrixes, bioactive fillers, or therapeutic agents for stimulating specific cellular responses in bone-related tissue engineering," said Akhilesh Gaharwar, PhD, BWH Division of Biomedical Engineering, first study author. "Future mechanistic studies will be performed to better understand underlying pathways that govern favorable responses, leading to a better understanding of how materials strategies can be leveraged to further improve construct performance and ultimately shorten patient recovery time."

Explore further: Nanomaterials key to developing stronger artificial hearts

More information: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1521-4095

Related Stories

Nanomaterials key to developing stronger artificial hearts

January 31, 2013

On January 30, 2013 ACS Nano published a study by Ali Khademhosseini, PhD, MASc, Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Biomedical Engineering, detailing the creation of innovative cardiac patches that utilize nanotechnology ...

Recommended for you

Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

September 1, 2015

The social wasp Polybia paulista protects itself against predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A Biophysical Journal study published September 1 reveals exactly how the venom's ...

Naturally-occurring protein enables slower-melting ice cream

August 31, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have developed a slower-melting ice cream—consider the advantages the next time a hot summer day turns your child's cone with its dream-like mound of orange, vanilla and lemon swirls with chocolate ...

Antibody-making bacteria promise drug development

August 31, 2015

Monoclonal antibodies, proteins that bind to and destroy foreign invaders in our bodies, routinely are used as therapeutic agents to fight a wide range of maladies including breast cancer, leukemia, asthma, arthritis, psoriasis, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.