Bone-Crack Detection, Targeting, and Repair Using Ion Gradients


  • The work was supported by Penn State MRSEC funded by the National Science Foundation (DMR-0820404), and Penn State Materials Research Institute Nanofabrication Lab and the National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement No. ECS-0335765 and by Boston University and the T32 Pharmacology Training grant (5T32M008541-14; J.F.).


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Bone cracks can be detected by utilizing the damaged matrix itself as both the trigger and the fuel. A crack in a material with a high mineral content such as bone generates ion gradients, which can be utilized for active targeting and treatment. This approach to targeting a biological structure augments current methods, which are focused on biomacromolecular interactions involving proteins and nucleic acids.