Testing bone tissue regenerative responses with Colloidal gels
My summer research project was on assisting bone tissue repair and regeneration using polyurethane colloidal gel tissue scaffolds. The project's goal was first to evaluate what properties of tissue scaffolds make them desirable for bone repair and regeneration; then to archive multiple colloidal gel structure properties to determine if they would make effective tissue scaffolds.
Bone fractures pose a significant economic and public health burden for millions each year in the U.S, resulting in lost work, unaffordable medical bills, and an overall decrease in quality of life. A significant portion of these fractures, regardless of the quality of surgical treatment, result in non-union fractures requiring additional medical intervention. A major cause of these non-union fractures is an inadequate amount of nutrients arriving at the target site of the bone fracture. Colloidal gels can provide a scaffolding material and be embedded with nutrients to enhance the regenerative responses. One of our goals for the project was to determine what structure of the colloidal gel best retained and released these nutrients.
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