Company strives to find a way to regenerate skeletal tissue

October 9, 2012

Topic: orthopaedics

Sitting on the couch truly may be bad for you. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have found that since the invention of farming, inactivity has caused people to have weaker bones.

One of the biggest obstacles that the field of orthopaedics faces is how to deal with skeletal tissues - such as bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage - that are damaged. A new company called SkelRegen is in the process of developing a way to regenerate destroyed tissue.

So far, researchers have identified some compounds that have the potential to revolutionize musculoskeletal care. These molecules target specific aspects of the skeletal tissue formation pathway. For instance, they block the inhibitors that prevent BMPs, which play a significant role in bone and soft tissue growth, from doing their job.

The compounds the company is using have already been cleared as safe products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for other purposes.

"We discovered several small molecules that simply help the body's own regeneration machinery do its job," said Scott Boden, M.D., co-founder of SkelRegen. "We are basically building bone from scratch now, with the expectation of building cartilage and other soft tissue in the near future. This technology has broad application throughout the field of orthopaedics and holds promise for transforming musculoskeletal care."

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