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Molecular imaging advancing stem cell-based gene therapy for osteoporosis and bone fracture regeneration.

Funding or Partner Organisation: The Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation L (Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation Proje)

Start year: 2015

Summary: It is estimated that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over 50 years of age will develop a fracture in their lifetime. Fractures in elderly osteoporotic patients represent a challenge to surgical treatment due to the difficulty in obtaining a stable implant fixation due to the presence of osteoporotic bone. Thus innovative approaches are urgently required. Bone graft substitutes with osteogenic factors alone often exhibit poor bone regeneration due to inadequate vascularisation. This study will combine the complementary expertise of Dr Joshua Chou, a UTS Biomaterial and Tissue Engineer specialising in the use of marine structures as a precursor for bone replacement and carriers for drug delivery systems and Dr Rose Martiniello-Wilks a UTS Stem Cell and Gene Technologist. Together, they will evaluate the effects of non-virally gene modified BMSC that secrete osteogenic and angiogenic factors, combined with coral biomimetics, on the repair of osteoporosis and bone defects in mice with an intact immune system mimicking the human situation currently used in Dr Wilks┬┐ lab. It is anticipated this multi-modal approach will provide a safe and minimally invasive approach for clinical trial testing in the elderly.

Keywords: adult stem cells, gene therapy, osteoporosis, bone fracture

FOR Codes: Health Related to Ageing, Regenerative Medicine (incl. Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering), Regenerative medicine (incl. stem cells)