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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IIS) have claimed to have discovered a new template for bone tissue regeneration by using 3-D scaffolds of graphene composites as they mimic the environment of the bone.[/caption]
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IIS) have claimed to have discovered a new template for bone tissue regeneration by using 3-D scaffolds of graphene composites as they mimic the environment of the bone.
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The field of 'tissue engineering' involves the use of a synthetic material as a 3-D support structure to help the cells grow and subsequently heal and restore the original tissue. Tissues or organs of the body often undergo damage in the course of various diseases or due to external injury caused during accidents.
Most of the time, these are treated using tissue or organ transplants from healthy donors. In some cases, devices (such as pacemakers for heart) can compensate for the loss of function of these organs. However, the focus of today's research is on making materials that the body's own cells can grow on and repair the damage.
Dr Kaushik Chatterjee, at the IISc's department of Materials Engineering, and his students investigated how and why do cells respond differently to 2D versus 3D scaffolds. Chatterjee and his students attempted to make the Polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold stronger by the addition of Graphene (known for its high mechanical strength). The resulting Graphene+ PCL scaffold was found to be stronger than PCL alone.
"PCL is a biodegradable polymer and by itself is a very soft scaffold. This makes it unsuitable for use as a template for bone engineering," the research paper states. The paper "3D scaffold alters cellular response to graphene in a polymer composite for orthopedic applications" was published online in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.
They also investigated the response of osteoblast cells (bone precursors) to Graphene- based polymer nanocomposites in 2-D substrates and 3-D scaffolds.