Regrowing Bones With Sound Waves
PLUS: A Less Painful Stem Cell Extraction Process
Cancer and degenerative diseases can cause bone loss. Via sound waves and tissue engineering, stem cells can be turned into bone cells, but the process is difficult and painful, involving bone marrow extraction. Researchers now report that use of higher frequency sound waves overcomes some of these challenges. The microchip on which the high frequency sound waves were generated is low cost; cells and fluids can be precisely manipulated; the process is upscalable
Coresearcher Dr. Amy Gelmi, a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, stated, “The sound waves cut the treatment time usually required to get stem cells to begin to turn into bone cells by several days. This method also doesn’t require any special ‘bone-inducing’ drugs and it’s very easy to apply to the stem cells. Our study found this new approach has strong potential to be used for treating the stem cells, before we either coat them onto an implant or inject them directly into the body for tissue engineering.” The next step? Developing practical bioreactors to drive efficient stem cell differentiation.
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