TPU Improves Materials for Organ Regeneration

Researchers of Tomsk Polytechnic University proposed a method for improving implants for organ regeneration. New technology can expand the potential of tissue engineering. The results were published in the Surface & Coatings Technology. The detailed information about the research was published by RIA Novosti.

One of the areas of modern biomedicine is the improvement of materials to produce scaffolds. These scaffolds are used as the basis to grow new tissues in regenerative medicine or as a material for targeted drug delivery. The scaffolds with necessary cells or medicines are implanted into the organ damaged areas, where they gradually dissolve, being replaced by the body’s own tissues.

Despite the fact that modern scaffolds are completely biocompatible and have good mechanical properties, their application is still limited due to the hydrophobic properties of their materials. Thus, they do not get wet while interacting with water molecules.

“This property worsens the attachment of cells and their division and also increases the scaffold decomposition period in the body.”

Anna Lipovka, a member of the research group, PhD student of the TPU Research School of Chemistry & Applied Biomedical Sciences, says.

The most effective method to increase scaffold hydrophilicity is plasma treatment. However, after a few days, the effect weakens and gradually disappears, worsening the scaffold survival rate.

To improve th properties, TPU team supplemented the plasma surface treatment by applying a thin film of graphene oxide. This nanomaterial has high hydrophilicity, which does not degrade over time.

Comparative tests demonstrated that the processed material retains the necessary hydrophilicity for a sufficiently long time. It is a major achievement in the development of safe implantable materials, which are in great demand by modern reconstructive surgery in the treatment of cardiovascular, oncological and a number of other diseases.

The TPU team plans to study the interaction of new scaffolds with living cells and tissues during implantation. In addition, Imperial College London (UK) and TPU to use laser processing to create an electrically conductive layer that enables monitoring the state of the scaffold in the body.