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Hydrogel based on mesenchymal stem cells developed by researchers at Amirkabir University of Technology can be used as a replacement for lost bones in the body.

 | Post date: 2024/04/6 | 
Hydrogel based on mesenchymal stem cells developed by researchers at Amirkabir University of Technology can be used as a replacement for lost bones in the body.
A group of researchers at Amirkabir University of Technology have introduced a hydrogel for repairing lost bones using mesenchymal stem cells and nanoparticles, which possesses the capability of oxygen release and magnesium ion. Mina Maleki stated: In bone cancer, after tumor surgery, an empty space is created in the bone structure, or due to road accidents, parts of the bones may be lost. To fill these empty spaces, bone grafts are needed.
She mentioned that these bone grafts are usually taken from the individual's own body or from donors, and added: These received bone grafts have many limitations because taking a large portion of the individual's bones may not be feasible, and on the other hand, bone grafting from another person's body can lead to tissue rejection by the immune system and ultimately result in severe infections. Maleki highlighted: In order to overcome these limitations, tissue engineering is utilizing stem cells' differentiation and conversion capabilities to bone.
The project's executor explained the research project in this field: In these studies, we successfully created a hydrogel using natural and cost-effective materials available in the country, namely silk fibroin and natural biopolymer alginate, which transforms into a gel at 37 degrees Celsius, equivalent to body temperature, and can completely fill the empty cavity.
According to her, this hydrogel serves as a safe environment for stem cells as these cells are extracted from fat tissues and placed inside the hydrogel.
The graduate of Amirkabir University of Technology pointed out: The engineering design of this hydrogel is such that it delivers oxygen to stem cells until the formation of blood vessels. Moreover, the controlled release of magnesium ions induces the differentiation of bone cells. For this purpose, we created magnesium peroxide nanoparticles in a controlled manner under complex body conditions to release oxygen and magnesium.
She emphasized that a completely new method was used to create carriers that hold these nanoparticles inside the hydrogels, reminding: This method, while simple, ensures that the materials used in the carrier are completely compatible with the body and cells, and after the release period, they completely degrade without leaving any toxic residues behind.
Maleki explained the process of creating this hydrogel by stating: In the first stage, we needed a substance that could deliver sufficient oxygen to the cells and also encourage the cells to quickly form blood vessels, which led us to utilize magnesium peroxide. Magnesium ions can prompt stem cells to differentiate into bone cells and form blood vessels. Additionally, oxygen delivery is facilitated through these same nanoparticles.
The project executor mentioned that in order for these nanoparticles to provide the required amount of materials to the cells in a specific manner, they needed to be specially designed. She expressed: However, the next challenge was to create a suitable carrier for these nanoparticles. The materials used to construct the carrier must completely degrade during the formation of new bone tissue, leaving no toxic residues behind, and they should effectively release magnesium and oxygen. Ultimately, we succeeded in creating a completely new carrier with the desired characteristics.
According to this researcher, this hydrogel can be used in bone surgery, bone grafts, cosmetic procedures, and in the pharmaceutical industry for targeted drug delivery. This hydrogel can serve as a replacement for lost bone segments due to the production of natural bone tissue by stem cells and the use of carriers for targeted drug delivery.
She further mentioned that so far, a scientific article has been submitted to a reputable international journal, and a conference and two other research articles are in the process of being published.
The project titled "Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Hydrogel Carrier with Oxygen Release and Magnesium Ion Capability" was executed by Mina Maleki under the guidance of Dr. Reza Karimi Soflou and supervision of Dr. Akbar Karakhane at Amirkabir University of Technology.