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Kevin Lema

Bioengineering, '18


Nanomedicine for Safe Healing of Bone Trauma

Mentor: Omid C Farokhzad, MD (Brigham and Women's Hospital)

In the past, severe soft-tissue trauma and bone loss resulting from injuries in limbs have often been treated with primary amputation. Limb salvage surgery is now possible for these injuries with advancements in soft tissue coverage and nerve repair techniques. High infection rates and erratic bony healing may also result from high-energy extremity trauma—it is often quite challenging to repair these bony defects while maintaining an environment that prevents infection. However, nanomedicine presents itself as a viable solution in combating bacterial infection and increasing the efficacy of the bone healing process. Nanoparticles can be engineered to serve a variety of functions that can aid in the treatment of high-energy extremity trauma. Developed particles are able to target bacteria via surface charge, leading to the controlled release of antibiotics, to encapsulate growth factors (bone morphogenic proteins) for transport to targeted bone and bone matrix material, and to target collagen for the delivery of anti-inflammatory agents. The goal of this work is to develop a single nanostructure platform capable targeting bacteria and releasing a cocktail of treatment drugs.

Toxicity mechanisms of nanoparticles. NPs and nanoparticle ions produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) to induce oxidative stress. ROS are able to damage bacteria, ultimately leading to bacterial cell death. Figure source S. Krol, R. Macrez, F. Docagne, G. Defer, S. Laurent, M. Rahman, M.J. Hajipour, P.G. Kehoe, M. Mahmoudi, Therapeutic benefits from nanoparticles: the potential significance of nanoscience in diseases with compromise to the blood brain barrier, Chemical reviews 113(3) (2012) 1877-1903. Source: