Scientists uncover new method for tissue regeneration

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have developed a method of mimicking the body's natural healing process, using cell derived nano-sized particles called vesicles, to repair damaged tissue. Photo by Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock

Oct. 3 (UPI) — Researchers from the University of Birmingham have discovered a new method to mimic the body’s natural healing process to repair damaged tissue.

The study, published today in Scientific Reports, details a new method for bone regeneration by stimulating cells to produce vesicles that can be delivered for tissue regeneration.

The number of bone fractures are expected to double worldwide by 2020, putting added stress on healthcare systems. Osteoporosis-fragility fractures can have a significantly negative impact on quality of life.

There are significant limitations to current treatments for bone repair like autologous grafts that cannot meet demand and lead to patient morbidity, allogeneic bone lacks bioactive factors and growth factor-based approaches can lead to serious side-effects and high costs.

The new approach provides the advantages of cell-based therapies, but without using viable cells. The method harnesses the regenerative capacity of extracellular vesicles, nano-sized particles that are naturally generated in bone formation.

“It is early days, but the potential is there for this to transform the way we approach tissue repair,” Dr. Owen Davies, of the University of Birmingham, said in a press release. “We’re now looking to produce these therapeutically valuable particles at scale and also examine their capacity to regenerate other tissues.”

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