A newly developed biomaterial that is capable of being injected intravenously may decrease inflammation in tissue while also promoting the healing of both cells and tissue.
Both rodent and big animal models were utilized to evaluate the efficacy of the biomaterial in treating tissue damage brought on by heart attacks. The biomaterial was shown to be successful in this treatment.
In addition, the researchers demonstrated in a mouse model that the biomaterial might be useful for individuals suffering from traumatic brain damage and pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Karen Christman, a professor of bioengineering at the University of California San Diego and the principal researcher on the team that produced the material, stated, “This biomaterial allows for treating damaged tissue from the inside out.”
The group, which is comprised of both bioengineers and medical doctors, published their results in the issue of Nature Biomedical Engineering that was released on December 29.
How Was the Biomaterial Made?
The researchers at Christman’s lab began with the hydrogel that they produced, which, as part of the process of conducting safety tests, demonstrated that it was compatible with blood injections. However, the particle size of the hydrogel was not small enough to target blood vessels that were leaking.
Spang, who was a Ph.D. student in Christman’s lab at the time, found a solution to this problem by passing the liquid precursor of the hydrogel through a centrifuge. This enabled the larger particles to separate, retaining only the nano-sized particles in the final product.
After being subjected to dialysis and sterile filtration, the material produced was then freeze-dried. When the finished powder is mixed with sterile water, a biomaterial is produced that may either be administered intravenously or infused into the coronary artery.
How Does it Work?
The biomaterial was then put through its paces by researchers using a rat model of a cardiac attack. Due to the fact that after a heart attack gaps form between the endothelial cells in blood vessels, the researchers anticipated that the substance would be capable of flowing past the blood vessels and into the tissue.
However, contrary to what they had hoped, the biomaterial adhered to the cells, which resulted in the closure of gaps between the cells as well as accelerated mending of the blood vessels and a subsequent reduction in inflammation.
Researchers also used a pig model of heart attack to examine the efficacy of the biomaterial, and they found comparable findings. In rat models of traumatic brain damage and pulmonary arterial hypertension, the team was also effective in testing the notion that the same biomaterial may assist in targeting other forms of inflammation.
In order to better understand these situations, Christman’s group will conduct a number of preclinical experiments.
Christman and the company Ventrix Bio, Inc., have plans to submit an application to the FDA for approval to undertake a study in people on the novel biomaterial and its potential uses in treating cardiac abnormalities. This indicates that the first round of testing on humans will start within the next year or two.