Implanted polymer membrane can regrow lost periodontal tissue

img AD Ratings imgMarch 29, 2019




If you have experienced some tissue loss due to periodontal disease, a regenerative implanted membrane in development can regrow lost tissue in the gums.

About half of all Americans are affected by periodontal disease at least once in their lifetimes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Periodontal disease presents itself in many forms—gum inflammation, bone loss around teeth, bad breath due to bacterial infection, a toothache, tender gums, and in severe cases tooth loss.

Researchers at ACS Nano have been testing various compounds in the gums of rats to develop a regenerative membrane that might reverse the tissue damage that occurs as a result of periodontal disease.

Polymers are at the heart of the tissue membrane

The researchers of this new technique are attempting to regrow lost gum tissue and bone using various implants made of different polymers. The created graft forms a protected corner near the tooth’s root and causes nearby stem cells to help form new gum and bone cells.

As the artificial polymer gets implanted using surgery, it is mandatorily removed using a second surgery. Surgery also leaves scar tissue that inhibits the healing process. To rectify this, researchers developed biodegradable membranes, but the biodegradable material didn’t promote any periodontal tissue regrowth and rendered the first surgery useless.

Alireza Moshaverinia, Paul Weiss and colleagues then set out to develop the most adept membrane that would not only increase periodontal tissue regeneration but also be absorbed by the body once the healing was complete.

They manufactured biocompatible, nanofibrous, poly(ε-caprolactone), and medically approved membranes, and coated them with a synthetic polydopamine (PDA) polymer, which enables the membrane to stick to wet surfaces. While these ambitious membranes were being tested, the stem cells from the tooth roots stuck to the membrane and adapted. There was an unforeseen advantage of early bone mineralization observed as well because the PDA coating attracted calcium and phosphate ions.

The researchers then tested these membranes in rats with periodontal tissue loss, and remarkably, found that the degenerated sites regenerated to normal levels within eight weeks.

Moreover, in the time it took for the biodegradable membranes to degrade, the rats not only healed but also absorbed the PDA-coated polymer. The researchers are currently working to reinforce this membrane by adding components that will help the healing process and also prevent infection.

 

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