New Injectable Hydrogel Enables Cells to Heal Damaged Organs

Service Engineering

Scientists at McGill University in Montreal have discovered a biomaterial that has the potential to heal the heart, vocal cords, and muscles. This advancement has been praised as a huge achievement in regenerative medicine.

Professor Luc Mongeau and Assistant Professor Jianyu Li worked with a team to create an innovative injectable hydrogel which enables cells grow and heal damaged organs.

“There is also a possibility to use the technology in the manufacturing of lungs for Covid-19 drug testing“

The scientists evaluated the endurance of their hydrogel using a machine they constructed to imitate human voice cords. The unique biomaterial stayed intact after six million cycles of vibration at 120 times a second; other typical hydrogels shattered into fragments due to the forces stress.

According to the researchers, the technology might be used for medication delivery, tissue engineering, and the generation of model tissues for drug testing. There is also a possibility to use the technology in the manufacturing of lungs for Covid-19 drug testing.

Guangyu Bao, Graduate Research Assistant from McGill University, said: “People recovering from heart damage often face a long and tricky journey. Healing is challenging because of the constant movement tissues must withstand as the heart beats. The same is true for vocal cords.

“Before our work, no injectable hydrogels possessed both high porosity and toughness at the same time. To solve this issue, we introduced a pore-forming polymer to our formula. We hope that one day the new hydrogel will be used as an implant to restore the voice of people with damaged vocal cords, for example laryngeal cancer survivor.”

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