Rice Thermogelling Hydrogel Turns Hard When Injected Into Body to Support Stem Cells (VIDEO)


Bones break and softer tissues get damaged in a variety of ways, but new technologies, especially patient-derived stem cell, can help restore them to a healthy state. Stem cells, while extremely competent at differentiating into target tissues, have to be delivered and kept at the therapy site long enough to do their thing.

Researchers at Rice University developed a special hydrogel that is a liquid at room temperature, but that solidifies when heated to body temperature. The hydrogel can be mixed with stem cells and injected into bone where it toughens and provides a medium in which the cells can differentiate and grow. Before the mixture is injected, another substance is added to the hydrogel to program how fast it will break down once inside the body, allowing new cells to grow and to fill in the space initially supported by the solid hydrogel. The researchers believe the technology would be most applicable in craniofacial orthopedic procedures where minimally invasive therapies are particularly wanted.


Study in Biomacromolecules: Synthesis and Characterization of Injectable, Biodegradable, Phosphate-Containing, Chemically Cross-Linkable, Thermoresponsive Macromers for Bone Tissue Engineering…

Press release: A hydrogel that knows when to go…

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