Recent technological innovations that have made it possible to generate room temperature and room atmosphere plasma in so-called non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma (NTAPP) have given Japanese scientists the opportunity to apply the therapeutic properties of this “fourth state of matter”. to bone regeneration.
In a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers from the Graduate School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka City University found utility of NTAPP in healing bone fractures using a pencil-type NTAPP in animal bone defect models.
“NTAPP is considered a new therapeutic method,” says lead author Akiyoshi Shimatani, “because it has been shown to accelerate cell growth when applied at sufficiently low levels. In an ambient atmosphere, it can generate highly reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) that can be directly exposed to biological targets such as cells and tissues, according to the researcher.
Indirect treatments have shown the potential benefits of plasma for supporting the creation of stem cells that elicit reactive oxygen species and for inducing osteogenic differentiation and bone formation, however, as the team points out, there is no no reports of direct use of NTAPP for the treatment of bone fractures. “Direct exposure to NTAPP is a key part of this study,” says Jun-Seok Oh, OCU Graduate School of Engineering professor and study advisor, “It required a device specifically designed to generate and deliver RONS in areas of the bone. default “effectively”.
The research group developed a pencil-like plasma device capable of efficiently generating and delivering RONS to an animal model with a well-established critical bone defect, allowing the team to seek optimal irradiation conditions. Comparing groups that were irradiated with NTAPP for 5, 10, and 15 minutes to control groups without administered plasma, micro-CT images at eight weeks showed that the 10-minute treatment time was the most successful bone regeneration. with a bone volume 1.51 times greater than the control group.
“However, micro-CT images cannot determine whether a bone defect has been filled with bone, tissue, or both,” says Hiromitsu Toyoda, associate professor at the Graduate School of Medicine and author of the study. Therefore, the team also performed histological analysis and confirmed that “the bone defects in the plasma-treated groups were filled with new bone and there was no inclusion, such as tissue. fibrous and a space that was observed in the control group, “continues the professor.
Like other forms of therapy, the biological effect of plasma depends on the dose of treatment delivered to the targets. While further research is needed to clarify why the study saw the greatest bone regeneration during the 10 minute treatment period, it is understood that the wettability of the surface promotes greater cell spread and greater adhesion to biomaterials and implants. “We wondered if something similar was happening where we saw a strong generation of new bone.” says Hiroaki Nakamura, professor at the Graduate School of Medicine and study advisor, “and we found that compared to the control group, the bone surface area of the plasma-treated group was statistically and significantly more hydrophilic.”
While much remains to be explored and understood in terms of treatment dose, for the first time, the direct application of atmospheric plasma at room temperature to a living body has seen a positive result. The research team is hoping that the plasma device they developed can become something used during surgery to bring the bone regenerating effect of NTAPP to various medical fields.
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Material provided by Osaka City University. Note: Content can be changed for style and length.