Broken bones to heal with gene therapy and microbubbles

If the damaged area is too large during a bone fracture, you need to figure out how to "put a patch". Traditionally, for this, a bone fragment is taken from another part of the patient's body, and if the deformation is very large, then bone tissue growth stimulants are used. They have too many side effects - but the new technology will help eliminate most of the problems.

Bone morphogenetic proteins are great for rapid bone repair, but they are poorly controlled. In high concentrations, bones can begin to grow directly in soft tissues, so scientists would like to use not cells as a whole, but only a part of their genes responsible for rapid growth. But how to deliver this piece of genetic code to the exact address?

The new experimental method is called "sonoporation" - with the help of ultrasound, gas-filled micro-bubbles are created in the lipid membrane of the cell, which push apart the cellular defense and create a hole in it. After the genes are delivered inside, the repeated ultrasonic pulse destroys the bubbles and everything is restored. The genes themselves can be obtained from stem cells by growing them in the right amount.

An experiment on broken pig bones showed that a single injection of genes into the bone tissue around the lesion is enough for it to completely heal with the same, but new, grown tissue after 6-8 weeks. In animals from the control group, by that time, the fractures had not even begun to heal. There is still a long way to go before experiments on humans, but the prospects for such a quick and effective treatment of fractures are very great.