A research poster of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
faculty members Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD (pictured left), Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, and Prashant Kumta, PhD (pictured right), the Edward R. Weidlein Chair at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and professor in the Departments of BioEngineering, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and their colleagues was selected a winner among a total of 52 posters outlining innovative research taking place at universities and early-stage life sciences companies located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. BioNJ and Pennsylvania Bio announced the 9 poster winners who participated in this year’s “Innovation Corridor” at Biotech 2009, the annual biotechnology industry symposium put together by the two statewide industry trade groups. The posters were on display during the 2-day conference held recently at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The winning poster, “Novel Synthetic Porous and Biodegradable Bone Cement for Orthopaedic and Craniofacial Regeneration,” explained that the development of effective therapies for bone and craniofacial regeneration is one of the most clinically important goals in the mineralized tissue engineering field. There are approximately 6.2 million fractures that occur annually in the United States, of which 5% to 10% fail to heal properly. Calcium phosphate cements (CPCs) are used as bone substitutes that offer excellent biocompatibility, osteoconductivity, low temperature setting, and easy handling characteristics. Unfortunately, currently used CPCs have very low porosities, low degradation, and are not amenable for in situ incorporation of biologics limiting their clinical use.
The present work of Drs. Sfeir and Kumta’s team described the synthesis of a novel porous CPC that not only has excellent setting and handling characteristics, but also acts as a scaffold and delivery system exhibiting excellent cell and host tissue biocompatibility and rapid bone regeneration. Colloidal nano-hydroxyapatite (NanoCaPs) complexed with BMP-2 solutions was used as the liquid for initiating the cement reaction. X-ray diffraction results demonstrated that the CPC fully converts into calcium deficient nanostructured hydroxyapatite providing mechanical strength. SEM analyses of the cements clearly showed the formation of micro- and macro-pores after dissolution of the porogen. MC3T3 cell proliferation results showed that the cells grow well in all these cements. Post implant 8 weeks in vivo results on the cement demonstrated formation of new bone on the surface and bulk of the porous scaffold. The current technology thus exhibited the potential to provide a viable solution for various types of craniofacial and orthopaedic problems.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Philadelphia Business Journal (11/25/09)
Bio: Dr. Charles Sfeir
Bio: Prashant Kumta
Abstract (BioTech 2009, Technologies and Targets for the Treatments of Tomorrow, Poster Number: 16)