Kyphoplasty is a procedure whereby fractured vertebrae are treated by injecting bone cement into the spine through small holes in the skin. These fractures can often be the result of tumours resulting from cancerous growths building pressure on the spine, and this procedure sometimes leaves difficult to treat tumours behind.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have developed a magnetic surgical cement to help with targeted drug delivery and healing spinal fractures. The patient receives magnetic nanoparticles bound with small amounts of chemotherapy drugs and the cement acts as a guide for the nanoparticles to target the cancerous tissue.
“Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a magnetic surgical cement to help with targeted drug delivery and healing spinal fractures. “
Steven Denyer, co-lead author, said “By modifying the kyphoplasty bone cement, we can both stabilise the spinal column and provide a targeted drug delivery system. This is a very promising technology as it has the potential to become a surgical option for patients with primary spinal column tumours or tumours that metastasise to the spinal column.” Co-lead Abhiraj Bhimani said: “Our study provides an in vivo proof-of-concept that this novel drug delivery system can help treat underlying causes of spinal fractures in addition to providing structural support.” Steven and Abhiraj are third and fourth year medical student at the UIC College of Medicine respectively.