Scientists “rejuvenate” aging bone tissue

With the aging of the global population, senile bone injury caused by imbalance in bone homeostasis and decline in regenerative capacity has become a major medical challenge in the field of public health care. Interventions to improve the aging microenvironment and senescent stem cells, thereby restoring aging bone regeneration, are a potential treatment for senile bone defects.

Recently, the research group of Academician Liu Changsheng, Professor Yuan Yuan and Professor Yan Zhang of East China University of Science and Technology reported that an injectable pegylated glyceryl sebacate/polyglutamic acid hydrogel (PSeR) loaded with polydiselenide micelles containing rapamycin can be used to regulate the level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the microenvironment of aging bone regeneration in multiple dimensions and restore the regenerative potential of aging bone tissue. The research results were published in Advanced Materials under the title of “Repair of Aging Bones through Multi-level Reactive Oxygen Species Regulation Materials”.

Schematic diagram of multi-level ROS-regulated hydrogel promoting the regeneration of aging bones. Courtesy of Warren

The deterioration of the bone microenvironment and the aging of cells are the key factors for the decline of bone aging and regeneration, and the excessive accumulation of ROS in the microenvironment is one of the most common causes of cell aging. Existing studies have shown that reducing ROS accumulation is an effective way to inhibit bone loss or promote osteoporotic bone defect repair in elderly mice. However, the regulation of ROS levels is a dynamic and complex process, which is accompanied by the accumulation of intracellular and extracellular ROS and continuous ROS production, which makes single regulation not the best way to promote aging bone repair.

In order to solve the above problems, the multi-level ROS-regulated injectable hydrogel PSeR designed in this study achieved effective regulation of ROS levels inside and outside senescent cells. The hydrogel can not only maintain the level of extracellular oxidation and remove the excessive accumulation of ROS in senescent cells, but also improve the antioxidant capacity of senescent cells and reduce the continuous production of ROS. At the same time, the researchers also found that by multi-dimensional regulation of the ROS level of senescent bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, it can effectively delay cell senescence and protect the regeneration ability of stem cells in the aging environment. This study provides new design ideas for the treatment of bone aging and other degenerative diseases. (Source: China Science News Zhang Shuanghu)

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