Nano-sized DNA bio patch can regrow damaged or missing bone

11/07/2013 - 00:00

Researchers at the University of Iowa have created a bio patch to regenerate missing or damaged bone by putting DNA into a nano-sized particle that delivers bone-producing instructions directly into cells.

The bone-regeneration kit relies on a collagen platform seeded with particles containing the genes needed for producing bone. In experiments, the gene-encoding bio patch successfully regrew bone fully enough to cover skull wounds in test animals. It also stimulated new growth in human bone marrow stromal cells in lab experiments.

The study is novel in that the researchers directly delivered bone-producing instructions (using piece of DNA that encodes for a platelet-derived growth factor called PDGF-B) to existing bone cellsĀ in vivo, allowing those cells to produce the proteins that led to more bone production. Previous attempts had relied on repeated applications from the outside, which is costly, intensive, and harder to replicate consistently.