Biomedical device developed from food industry by-products
Researchers from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) have found that natural by-products from the food industry, normally discarded in industrial processes, are an excellent source of biomaterials for producing biomedical devices.
The team from UPV/EHU’s NanoBioCel and Biomat groups developed a novel device comprising soy protein and chitin, which formed a matrix with a porous, interconnected microarchitecture similar to that of certain body tissues. These properties make the device suitable for use in regenerative medicine, as published by the researchers in the journal Green Chemistry.
“It is important to point out that to date no-one has exploited the potential in regenerative medicine displayed by soy protein and chitin blended in a microporous matrix,” the researchers noted. “As the first milestone in this respect, this novel device incorporates two natural components obtained from the food industry, thus contributing towards the widely called for social requirement to upgrade waste from production on an industrial level.
“The device has also displayed some physico-chemical and mechanical properties suitable for applications in regenerative medicine. What is more, it has also been found to be totally biocompatible not only in in vitro cell lines but also in an in vivo murine model. Finally, we have confirmed that this device is capable of hosting a large number of viable stem cells inside it, thus increasing its level of bioactive compound secretion and displaying its potential as a very effective vehicle in cell therapy.”
This biotechnological approach may have a potentially successful application in the matrix-based regenerative medicine industry, the researchers believe. These devices capable of hosting stem cells are expected to revolutionise biomedical research as well as everyday clinical practice.
“Clinical scenarios as complex as chronic injuries or bone problems need a multifocal approach which combines bioactive matrices with biological agents having regenerative effects,” the researchers concluded.
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