Bone formation comes down to the nanowire

28 June, 2022

A nanotechnology platform developed by KAUST scientists could lead to new treatments for degenerative bone diseases.

The system takes advantage of tiny iron wires that bend in response to magnetic fields. Bone-forming stem cells grown on a mesh of these nanowires get a kind of physical workout on the moving substrate. They then transform into mature bone much faster than is typical of other culturing conditions, with a differentiation protocol that lasts just a few days instead of a few weeks.

“This is a remarkable finding,” says bioscientist Jasmeen Merzaban. “We can achieve efficient bone cell formation in a shorter amount of time,” potentially paving the way for more efficient regeneration of bone. Merzaban co-led the study together with sensor scientist Jürgen Kosel and colleagues from their labs.

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Image: A cell cultured on top of the nanowire scaffold.
© 2022 KAUST; Heno Hwang