Regeneration of bone-a new beginning of life.
THINK FOR A WHILE!!
What happens when you lose a bone which is a pivotal part in your skeletal system? How can you lead a satisfactory life when you lose an integral part of our body (bone)? Is bone allograft/metal implanting a good option for effective functioning? Why can’t the implementation of advanced technology in medical science create a new living bone?
Presently, bone grafting/bone implants procedures are in practice significantly as traditional methods worldwide in orthopaedic treatments including the field of oncology. However, this traditional method has it’s own limitations when it comes to the strength of the implanted/grafted bone material in contrast to that of the natural bone. The long term effect of the metal implants on the functionality of the organ also poses a requisite challenge for the alternative methods of treatment. This paves the way to the need for utilization of biological specimens as biomaterials in combination with appropriate non-metallic nanoparticles as a scaffold for the regeneration therapy treatment which could exile the limitations of traditional methods such as strength and functionality. The biocompatible non-metallic nanoparticles would provide the strength matching the load-bearing capacity of the natural bone whereas biological specimens such as mesenchymal stem cells and platelet-rich plasma would bring up the regeneration therapy at the desired site. Usage of completely biocompatible nanoparticle with the stem cells of the patient with other biological fluids as scaffold would also nullify the Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) and minimize the inflammation at the site of the graft. Biocompatible biomaterials with non-metallic nanoparticles also perform a dual role by serving as a substrate for the regeneration therapy and also enhance the overall strength and stability of the grafted material and can be replaced by the natural bone after successful regeneration therapy giving rise to a completely biological bone with the advantage of optimal functionality. Moreover, the complete procedure would be worthwhile; when compared to the outlay involved in implanting an allograft bone serving for the betterment of mankind.
Graphene-a super material nanoparticle is one such biocompatible material with high flexibility, strength, and adaptability obtained from the graphite ore. Graphene is also accessible in the form of monolayer, multilayer, band, flakes. The biological applications of graphene can be applied in various fields of medicine which include antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal properties and also used as a drug for cancer treatments (in vivo), also used in tissue engineering. It can also be used as biosensors that analyze the transmissions of signals occurring inside the body of the individual. Graphene being a non-metal can bear the immunological reactions of the body and the wide range of unique properties possessed by it emphasizes it’s usage as starting material for innovative therapeutic strategies and bio-diagnostics. While discussing it’s mechanical property it has a very good tensile strength and the thickness of the graphene monolayer is about less than 2nm with high electron mobility. All these advantages make graphene nanoparticle a suitable material as a scaffold for the regeneration of bone.
THE CUTTING EDGE
The 3D bioprinting technology is the cutting edge in the field of medical sciences wherein, the living cells have been printed using bio-inks to form a required soft tissue/organ which is functionally active and implanted inside the human body. Bones being an integral part of the skeletal system is very hard and thus providing mechanical support for the other soft tissues making up the rest of the body. The limitations of the bio-inks to provide the mechanical support having high tensile strength mimicking a similar magnitude with that of bone is the prime factor affecting the tissue engineering of the hard bones. Hence, 3D bio-printing of the hard tissues like bones is one of the major challenges in the field of biotechnology. These constraints can be ruled out by integrating the bio-ink with a substance with high tensile strength such that the mixture as a whole provides the required strength to form the hard scaffold which could further initiate and support the process of regeneration after 3D-bioprinting. The various forms of graphene are known to possess very high tensile strength and flexibility and are insoluble in fluids inside the human body. Thus, acts as a substrate for the differentiation and proliferation of the stem cells within the scaffold. This makes the graphene nanoparticle the best choice to incorporate along with the bio-ink to achieve a successful 3D-bioprinting of hard tissues and further to support the regeneration of mesenchymal stem cells which differentiate and proliferate forming new bone, connective tissue with the help of scaffold to establish a complete biological bone in a short period. However, analyzing the level of toxicity of the different forms of graphene and the process of converting it into a bio-ink form is the challenge ahead of this new biological bone.