Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Smart scaffolding aims to rebuild tissue from the inside: NIH funds tissue engineering project at Rice University to test peptide hydrogels, starting with teeth

At top, a graphic shows multidomain peptide self-assembling into a nanofiber. The scanning electron microscope image at bottom left shows formed nanofibers; at bottom right, a histological section of cells (blue dots) grows in a dentincylinder, where they mimic the desired dental-pulp regeneration. (Credit: Hartgerink Lab/Rice University)
At top, a graphic shows multidomain peptide self-assembling into a nanofiber. The scanning electron microscope image at bottom left shows formed nanofibers; at bottom right, a histological section of cells (blue dots) grows in a dentincylinder, where they mimic the desired dental-pulp regeneration.

(Credit: Hartgerink Lab/Rice University)

Abstract:
Smart scaffolding that can guide cells, proteins and small-molecule drugs to make new tissue and repair damage inside the body is in the works at Rice University.

Smart scaffolding aims to rebuild tissue from the inside: NIH funds tissue engineering project at Rice University to test peptide hydrogels, starting with teeth

Houston, TX | Posted on November 12th, 2012

Scientists at Rice and the Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry received a $1.7 million, five-year grantfrom the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a hydrogel that can be injected into a patient to form an active biological scaffold.

Rice bioengineer Jeffrey Hartgerink and co-investigator Rena D'Souza of Baylor won the grant to continue their groundbreaking work on self-assembling, multidomain peptide hydrogels that not only physically support but alsoencourage the growth of specific kinds of tissues.

Bioengineers use scaffolds to mimic the body's extracellular matrix, which supports the growth and maintenance of living cells. Synthetic scaffolds are used as frameworks to form replacement tissues and, perhaps someday, regenerate entire organs from a patient's own cells. Once their work is done, the scaffolds are designed to degrade and leave only natural, healthy tissue behind.

While much of the work to date has focused on creatingtissue in the laboratory for implantation, Hartgerink's aim is to inject scaffolds infused with living cells that will allow the repairs to happen inside the tissue's natural environment.

The peptides designed and prepared at Rice self-assemble into nanofibers that can be triggered to form a hydrogel. "We can then deliver cells, small-molecule drugs and proteins to bring everything together properly in one place," said Hartgerink, an associate professor of chemistry and of bioengineering at Rice. Hydrogels could be designed to interact with stem cells and "get them to do what we want them to do," he said.

Hartgerink and D'Souza, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor currently on aworking sabbatical at Rice's BioScience Research Collaborative, have been pursuing the project for five years. The NIH grant will allow them to focus on the regeneration of the dentin-pulp complex found inside every tooth. The pulp, D'Souza said, is the soft tissue in the roots and crown that keeps the tooth vital and responsive to injury. "If you have a toothache, it's the tissue that's inflamed and has no place to expand. That's why it hurts so much," she said.

Currently, dentists remove inflamed pulp and replace it with an inert rubber-based filler, she said. But injecting stem cell-seeded hydrogels would allow natural pulp to regenerateinto the chamber while stimulating new dentin formation. "Hydrogels have key advantages," D'Souza said. "We can deliver them in a syringe to small spaces that are difficult to access, and the material does not get damaged. Developing this material as a restorative therapy is advantageous to patients as, unlike all other dental materials, this one is biologically active."

The researchers reached a milestone in 2010 when they found a way to have the fibers degrade rather than stay in the body. With the new grant, they hope to start trials of their dental hydrogel within two years, D'Souza said. "I can see potential applications for hydrogel, for example, for spinal cord regeneration or for various eye conditions, where we can restore the vitreous humour," she said.

Hartgerink is glad to have the NIH on board, but noted the grant would not have been possible without initial support from the Welch Foundation. "I've had Welch funding since the day I got here, and it has allowed me to do the preliminary work for all the grants we ended up getting," he said. "It's good to have them in Texas."

D'Souza said the seed grant money provided by the International Association for Dental Research in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline enabled her laboratory to perform proof-of-concept stem cell experiments. "This is a great example of the huge benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration where, by combining expertise, we can push the frontiers of translational and clinical research forward."

The NIH grant is administered by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for "best value" among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Hartgerink Group:

A Customized Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogel for Dental Pulp Tissue Engineering:

Related News Press

News and information

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Self Assembly

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved January 13th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Researchers fabricate high performance Cu(OH)2 supercapacitor electrodes December 29th, 2016

Discoveries

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Announcements

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale January 20th, 2017

Research partnerships

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

Chemists Cook up New Nanomaterial and Imaging Method: Nanomaterials can store all kinds of things, including energy, drugs and other cargo January 19th, 2017

Chemistry on the edge: Experiments at Berkeley Lab confirm that structural defects at the periphery are key in catalyst function January 13th, 2017

Recreating conditions inside stars with compact lasers: Scientists offer a new path to creating the extreme conditions found in stars, using ultra-short laser pulses irradiating nanowires January 12th, 2017

Dental

Nanocellulose in medicine and green manufacturing: American University professor develops method to improve performance of cellulose nanocrystals November 7th, 2016

STMicroelectronics’ Semiconductor Chips Contribute to Connected Toothbrush from Oral-B That Sees What You Don’t: Microcontroller and Accelerometer help brushers clean their teeth more effectively October 4th, 2016

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Tooth decay -- drilling down to the nanoscale: Researchers from the University of Sydney believe they have identified some nanoscale elements that govern the behavior of our teeth September 11th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project