Tissue regeneration researchers awarded two major grants

December 10, 2018

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have received two grants to help continue groundbreaking research on tissue regeneration.

Their method injects microbubbles with a bone-inducing gene into damaged tissues. Those areas are then treated with ultrasound waves, which mediates the delivery of the DNA into stem cells. Parts of the DNA become incorporated into the stem cells, activating the patient’s own stem cells to heal the injury.

“This type of gene delivery has the advantage of being targeted and safe, compared to using viral-based gene therapy,” said Scott Jones, vice president of scientific affairs at BioBridge Global. “This type of treatment is also nice because it’s noninvasive and uses the patient’s own cells, plus it doesn’t require growing stem cells outside the body.”

These researchers have shown in two different studies in a mini-pig model that this type of treatment could regrow a shinbone in eight weeks and heal a ligament tear within a knee joint. The therapy could be used to regenerate damage from severe traumas or battlefield wounds.

The researchers received $5 million grant from the Department of Defense to advance the technique to clinical trials. A $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will be used to develop ultrasound machines suited to the process.

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