Researchers develop new periodontitis treatment method
LOS ANGELES, U.S.: Recent studies showing an increase in patients with periodontitis, as well as studies linking it with Alzheimer’s disease, have led to some medical professionals stating that there is an increased need for more effective and reliable treatment. In a recent study, a team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a treatment method that promotes regeneration of gingival tissue and bone with biological and mechanical features that can be adjusted based on individual needs.
“Given the current disadvantages with guided tissue regeneration, we saw the need to develop a new class of membranes, which have tissue and bone regeneration properties along with a flexible coating that can adhere to a range of biological surfaces,” said Dr. Alireza Moshaverinia, co-lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Prosthodontics at the UCLA School of Dentistry. “We’ve also figured out a way to prolong the drug delivery timeline, which is key for effective wound healing.”
The researchers began the study with a Food and Drug Administration-approved polymer and polydopamine coating to help with cell adhesion. This enables excellent adhesion in wet conditions and helped promote the mineralization of hydroxyapatite to speed up bone regeneration. After identifying an optimal combination for their new membrane, the researchers used electrospinning to bond the polymer with the polydopamine coating.
Electrospinning is a production method that simultaneously spins two substances with positive and negative charges at a rapid speed and fuses them together to create one substance. To improve their new membrane’s surface and structural characteristics, the researchers used metal mesh templates in conjunction with the electrospinning to create different patterns, or micro-patterns, similar to the surface of gauze or a waffle.
“By creating a micro pattern on the surface of the membrane, we are now able to localize cell adhesion and to manipulate the membrane’s structure,” said co-lead author Dr. Paul Weiss, UC Presidential Chair, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA. “We were able to mimic the complex structure of periodontal tissue and, when placed, our membrane complements the correct biological function on each side.”
“We’ve determined that our membranes were able to slow down periodontal infection, promote bone and tissue regeneration, and stay in place long enough to prolong the delivery of useful drugs,” Moshaverinia said. “We see this application expanding beyond periodontitis treatment to other areas needing expedited wound healing and prolonged drug delivery therapeutics.”
The study, titled “Hierarchically patterned polydopamine-containing membranes for periodontal tissue engineering,” was published online in ACS Nano on 21 March, 2019.