25.03.2021 - Biomedicine, Life science, Healthcare

Latvia develops biomaterials for renewing soft tissue

Scientists at the Riga Technical University (RTU) are developing innovative injectable biomaterials to restore soft tissue after facial surgeries or injuries.

“There are a lot of injuries and diseases in which people lose tissue. Surgical procedures should be performed to restore tissue. It includes cutting open, lots of blood, sewing. Injectable materials are simple. They are filled into the syringe and can be injected into the area where this tissue deficiency is,” said Arita Dubņika, lead researcher.

Facial tissue is usually lost after accidents and oncological surgeries. The new injectable materials are being studied and developed in cooperation with partners in the Czech Republic, Turkey and Israel at the Riga Biomaterials Innovations and Development Centre.
The injection is based on stem cells derived from human gum tissues.

“The material is injected into the place where it is necessary to restore tissue to a certain amount. The material contains not only a substance that substitutes tissues but also bioactive substances that help cells get into the damaged area more quickly, grow there and restore the structure. he person is in less pain, there is no inflammatory effect,” Dubņika said.

Within three years, scientists plan to develop an optimal method of preparation for innovative injections. The centre also works on similar materials that could restore bones, such as after fractures or osteoporosis.

“We work with doctors at the Stomatology Institute. Partners are attracted, advisers from companies in France, Finland, the Czech Republic, which helps us immediately develop the idea in a way that makes it easier to transfer to the market and more easily attract a company that could produce it,” the researcher said.

However, it takes about ten years for such injectable biomaterials to be actually used in medicine. The path from laboratory studies to real patients is very long.

Source: eng.lsm.lv

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