New Delhi: The natural process of healing bone joint injuries is slow. Now scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Guwahati have developed an implantable mat that will help bone joint injuries to heal faster. The mat is made of a layer of silk fabricated onto bioglass and can be implanted at the site of injury.
A bone joint is an area where adjacent hard and rigid bones are joined to one another by cartilage tissue. Cartilage is flexible and consists of specialized cells called chondrocytes that produce a protein, collagen, which helps bone joint injuries to heal naturally.
“We isolated natural silk from silk worms and made nanofibrous mats that aid in treating bone joint defects owing to their special properties. They have a porous sponge like structure that helps chondrocyte cells to attach and grow. The cells produce more collagen at the site of bone joint injury, which helps to heal the injury faster,” explained Biman Mandal, professor at the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering of IIT Guwahati, who led the study. The research has appeared in journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Researchers now plan animal trials in which silk mats will be implanted in goats and sheep to see if it helps to enhance the pace of healing injured joints and to evaluate safety.