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Improving Recovery from Catastrophic Bone Injuries: An Animal Model for Assessing the Bone Reparative Potential of Progenitor Cell Therapy

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Annual rept. 1 Aug 2008-31 Jul 2009

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During the second year of this award, we have implemented three different models of skeletal repair that can be used to assess different strategies of progenitor cells, scaffolds and host preparation used to heal a critical sized defect. GFP reporters harbored in the mice that are used in the models provide a cellular explanation for the outcome and image analytical techniques afford an objective quantization of the results. Continued efforts are being made to increase the efficiency and informativeness of the process so it can be extended to a larger number of factors that can influence the repair process. While the models to date indicate that bone progenitor cells can be harvested from clinically relevant adult tissues in sufficient number to seed a scaffold that will fill a defect with donor derived bone, we are concerned that a strong union between host and donor bone does not form. Recent results raise a disturbing possibility that the donor cell may be inhibitory to the host response to the injury process and this lack of integration may even compromise the longevity of the donor bone that initially forms in the critical defect area. Investigating this preliminary observation while extending our interactions with a broader base of material scientists will be the focus of our activity in the last year of this award.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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