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Scientists develop biopatch for regenerating bone for dental implants

A new biopatch that can regenerate missing or damaged bone may be able to help people who need dental implants, according to researchers at the University of Iowa.

The researchers have created a patch that allows the placement of bone-producing DNA to existing bone cells, which helps cells to generate proteins that lead to more bone production.

The research is detailed in the article "The Enhancement of Bone Regeneration by Gene Activated Matrix Encoding for Platelet Derived Growth Factor" in the January issue of the journal Biomaterials.

Researchers found that collagen scaffold, which is used for tissue engineering, when loaded with genetic information for producing bone grew up to 44 times more bone and soft tissue in an affected area than with just the collagen scaffold patch alone.

The finding could benefit people who need dental implants but don't have enough bone in the surrounding area. The authors say the patch can also help rebuild bone in the gum area that serves as a foundation for dental implants.

In addition, because they used "nonviral gene delivery system" for the biopatch, the authors say it is less likely to cause unwanted side effects. It is also easier to produce in mass quantities, lowering cost.