Nature publishes paper from Find A Better Way-funded research

The Find A Better Way-funded synthetic bone project at the University of Glasgow was in the news again this week – this time thanks to a paper in one of the world’s most cited and respected publishing houses, Nature.

In a paper entitled Stimulation of 3D osteogenesis by mesenchymal stem cells using a nanovibrational bioreactor, which appeared in Nature Biomedical Engineering and was authored primarily by Dr Monica Tsimbouri and Dr Peter Childs (pictured), the team’s advances in stimulating stem cell growth are explained. Of particular interest is a machine called a Nanokick, which causes the stem cells to vibrate at high speeds. Built using technology originally designed for detecting gravitational waves, the team have discovered that when the Nanokick causes mesenchymal stem cells to vibrate 1,000 per second the stem cells turn into bone at an accelerated rate.

This makes the Nanokick an extremely important part of the synthetic bone project, which also includes 3D printed scaffolds and a new way to apply naturally occurring proteins that encourage bone growth (used with great success to save the leg of Eva the dog earlier this year).

Publishing a paper in the Nature family is a fantastic accomplishment, and it’s no surprise therefore that the science and technology magazine Wired have followed suit with a review of the project and the Nanokick machine in particular (unlike the paper in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the Wired story is available without a subscription and is reader-friendly for the non-specialist).

Find A Better Way would like to congratulate the entire team working on the project on the publication of their paper, especially Dr Tsimbouri and Dr Childs mentioned above, Professor Matt Dalby and Professor Stuart Reid, who led the development of the Nanokick, and Professor Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez, who leads the overall synthetic bone project.