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Nano-Structured Biodegradable Ceramics for the Treatment of Osteoporosis

G. Balasundaram and T.J. Webster
Purdue University, US

nanomaterial, osteoporosis, hydroxyapatite

There are a number of applications requiring bone-building agents. For example, osteoporosis is a disease resulting in weak bone. However, no current effective prevention and treatment methods exist for osteoporosis. For these reasons, in this study nanotechnology (or the design of materials with 10-9 m dimensions) was used to develop novel drug-carrying systems that specifically attach to osteoporotic (not healthy) bone. Moreover, some of these novel drug carrying systems distribute pharmaceutical agents locally to quickly increase bone mass. These efforts focus on the prolonged release of bioactive agents (specifically bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2)) to efficiently regenerate enough bone for the patient to return to a normal active lifestyle. Particularly, inorganic biodegradable nanomaterials (including ceramics like hydroxyapatite or HA) were functionalized in this study with bioactive chemicals (such as RGD, a model peptide known to increase bone cell function). Such bioactive groups were placed on the outer surface of the nanoparticle systems using various techniques resulting in covalent chemical attachment. The outer coating of the embedded nanoparticle systems were also created to have different biodegradation rates for the controlled release of embedded bioactive agents to the target site. In this manner, ceramic nanoparticle drug delivery systems were developed for fighting osteoporosis.

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