The Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine
On the occasion of a presentation he gave at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington last April 23, Samuel Stupp, professor at Northwestern University and director of IBNAM (Institute for Bionanotechnology in Medicine) has shown how Nanotechnology could be used to mobilize the repair capacity of the body to regenerate tissues or organs.

To illustrate his point, he presented the results he has obtained in laboratory mice paralyzed as a result of injuries of the spine, and have regained the use of their legs only 6 weeks after injection of a nanomaterial appropriate. By injecting molecules designed to self assemble to form nano fibers in the tissues of the spinal cord, it was possible to repair and make recroƮtre damaged neurons. During their training, the nano fibers are located in areas of tissue where they activate some biological processes that allow cells to repair the damage.

The team of Sam Stupp has also found that these nano fibers were able to direct the differentiation of stem cells to the production of neurons. These developments may have implications in Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's diseases for which brain cells cease to function normally.

Sat Stupp presented preliminary results obtained in collaboration with Canadian and Mexican teams that show a significant improvement of symptoms of Parkinson's disease in mice treated with the nanostructures developed in his laboratory. He also committed in association with Jon Lomasney, associate professor of pathology at Northwestern University, a study to exploit the same type of nano fibers to restore the functionality of the heart after infarction. This builds on work that was published in 2006 and show that by using heparin, an organic polymer capable of binding to growth factors involved in angiogenesis, can be formed by self - assembling nanofibers that promote the formation of new blood vessels in vivo.

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