The research efforts of McGowan Institute scientists—Prashant Kumta, PhD, Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD, Lee Weiss, PhD, and Phil Campbell, PhD—were recently rewarded with a patent for preparing hydroxyapatite and its use in tissue engineering applications. This technology provides a platform for bone and tooth engineering and repair applications and in gene delivery.
The Summary for Patent No. 7,247,288 reads:
A novel method for making hydroxyapatite and the product of that method is provided. The method includes the step of reacting calcium ions with phosphate ions in the presence of hydroxyl ions at a ratio of calcium ions to phosphate ions is greater than 1.67, and typically greater than about 16.7 and even greater than 167. In one embodiment, the phosphate is trisodium phosphate and the calcium is calcium chloride.
Also provided is a hydroxyapatite complex in which the above-described hydroxyapatite is complexed with a biomaterial. In one embodiment, the biomaterial is plasmid DNA that contains a gene, such as a bone morphogenetic protein gene. Examples of suitable genes include rhBMP-2, Osx, Runx2, PDGF, NGF, VEGF, IGF, FGFs, EGF, TGF-.beta. and BMP-7.
The hydroxyapatite complex can be used to transform cells in vitro or in vivo. A method is therefore provided for transforming cells. The method includes the step of contacting a cell with the described hydroxyapatite complex. The hydroxyapatite may be associated with an appropriate tissue engineering matrix for use in regenerative medicine. A product including the described hydroxyapatite and a substrate, such as a bio-degradable porous natural and/or synthetic polymer, useful in tissue engineering and wound healing also is described.
Congratulations, Drs. Kumta, Sfeir, Weiss, and Campbell!
Illustration: US Patent and Trademark Office.
US Patent and Trademark Office