A graphene/polymer matrix embedded into shoulder muscle prevents re-tear accidents.
Tears of the foremost tendons within the shoulder joint, generally referred to as the rotator cuff, are widespread accidents in adults. Advances in surgical procedure have made ever higher rotator cuff repairs attainable. However failure charges with surgical procedure will be excessive.
‘Most rotator cuff repairs focus on the tendon; this treatment uses an advanced polymer to stimulate regeneration of the muscle as well, protecting the shoulder from repeat injury.’
“Most repairs focus on the tendon,” and reattach it to the bone most successfully, Laurencin says. “However the true drawback is that the muscle degenerates and accumulates fats. With a tear, the muscle shrinks, and the physique grows fats in that space as an alternative. When the tendon and muscle are lastly reattached surgically to the shoulder bone, the weakened muscle cannot deal with regular stresses and the realm will be re-injured once more.
Regenerating the Rotator Cuff
Dr. Laurencin together with graduate pupil Nikoo Shemshaki labored with different UConn Connecticut Convergence Institute researchers to develop a polymer mesh infused with nanoplatelets of graphene. Once they used it to restore the shoulders of rats who had persistent rotator cuff tears with muscle atrophy, the muscle grew again. Once they tried rising muscle on the mesh in a petri dish within the lab, they discovered the fabric appeared to encourage the expansion of myotubes, precursors of muscle, and discourage the formation of fats.
“This is really a potential breakthrough treatment for tears of the rotator cuff. It addresses the real problem: muscle degeneration and fat accumulation,” Laurencin says.
The subsequent step of their work is learning the matrix in a big animal. The crew seems to be ahead to creating the know-how in people.