The medical materials inserted in the human body, have been used for decades in the field of regenerative medicine, but prolonged use can cause serious adverse effects with the loss of even different functions, because of inflammatory responses, generation of fibrous tissue, and clots blood that block blood vessels.
Recently, however, a Korean research team has drawn academic attention to developing a technology to reduce these side effects by accumulating cellular peripheral proteins on the surfaces of these materials.
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology ( KIST ) has released a release that Dr. Yoon Ki Joung has successfully developed a material that can be used to accumulate the proteins present on cell membranes on the surface of medical implant materials. A material that can be used to provide targeted cell therapies, as it can be loaded with stem cells.
The researchers coated the surface of the material with a polydopamine compound and a protein ( fibronectin ) capable of binding strongly with the surface of the biomaterial under study. They then cultured cells that produced cell membrane constituents and then removed them while keeping only the extracellular matrix intact, thus leading to the generation of space for cell adhesion needed for medical purposes.
The extracellular matrix in fact allows the union and survival of cells in vivo thanks to its high affinity with them. It can therefore effectively deliver the necessary components to treatment sites and mitigate the side effects caused by medical materials.
The researchers applied the developed material to the surface of a stent, used during surgical procedures to dilate blocked blood vessels, but which at the same time can potentially cause inflammation or clots as being physically used to expand the vessel could compromise the site where is inserted.
The material developed, therefore, after being applied through endothelial progenitor cells capable of generating blood vessels, showed excellent vasodilation effects. The damaged internal walls have also benefited, with control of regeneration such as to determine a decrease of more than 70% in the rate of neointima (or tunic) formation, a typical side effect of the stent ( restenosis ).
” With this technology, which can be used to improve materials to be inserted into the human body, it is expected to provide a universal platform for the development of long-term implantable diagnostic and therapeutic devices, ” concluded Dr. Ki Joung.