(July 16, 2013) -- Researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) jointly announce they are investing $200,000 in new research aimed at developing a synthetic drug-loaded scaffold to use in bone grafting procedures.
More than three million musculoskeletal procedures are currently performed in the United States each year to repair bone tissue damage from trauma, congenital deformities, bone diseases and the removal of cancerous lesions.
The UTSA-SwRI bone graft substitute would be an improvement on the industry's gold standard, autologous grafting. Autologous grafting, the process of transferring bone grafts from one part of the body to another, is generally successful in particular types of bone grafting. However, challenges arise due to tissue scarcity and surgical complications. Additionally, autologous grafts are not effective in treating large bone defects.
UTSA and SwRI researchers Anson Ong, the USAA Foundation Distinguished Professor in Biomedical Engineering, and Jian Ling, staff engineer at SwRI, will use collagen and hydroxyapatite to create their synthetic scaffold. Natural bone is, in large part, made up of collagen, hydroxyapatite and water.
Their proposed scaffold would have a rigid structural framework with complementary elastic properties, making it an ideal bone substitute to endure the body's tough physiological demands. Additionally, the synthetic bone substitute would be scalable. Clinicians would be able to trim it into any shape to fit large bone defects.
Ong and Ling's unique scaffold also would include drug-microparticles. Those microparticles would release active growth factors in a controlled manner over time, causing stem cells to become bone cells to which the implanted scaffold would fuse.
If successful, the new product would tap the unmet needs of an annual $2.5 billion bone graft market.
Ling has more than 19 years of experience in biomedical research, including the development of collagen- hydroxyapatite composite scaffolds. Ong is an established expert in the field of bone-biomaterial tissue interfaces.
The Connect Program, an annual UTSA-SwRI joint funding initiative, was established in 2010 to stimulate inter-organizations research between UTSA scholars and SwRI investigators in fields such as advanced materials, chemistry and chemical engineering, energy, the environment, security and manufacturing.
Through the month of February, the UTSA community is invited to join student organizations, colleges and departments at events that commemorate the African American people, places and events that have paved the way for racial equality.
The UTSA Department of English presents this year's Brackenridge Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, Lawrence Venuti. Venuti is a professor of English at Temple University.
Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
Diploma Dash is a fast, certified 5k course for runners and a scenic route around Main Campus for walkers, strollers and dogs! There are individual and team prizes. Benefits UTSA students through the UTSA Alumni Association scholarship program.
UTSA Main Campus
Enjoy music, food and socializing during this fundraising event benefiting the San Antonio Symphony League for the Youth Concert Series and the ITC for its ongoing educational mission.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
UTSA Libraries will host Robert Rico, M.P.A., Department of Criminal Justice, for his presentation "Restorative Justice: A Relational Approach to Civic Discourse." Pizza will be provided to students while supplies last.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 2.309), Downtown Campus
Spend an evening stirring your curiosity during these monthly talks featuring some of UTSA’s most renowned faculty, and learn how the latest research in their fields applies to our daily lives. This month's speaker is Francine Romero, UTSA associate professor and associate dean of the College of Public Policy.
The Historic Guadalupe Theatre, 1301 Guadalupe St., San Antonio
Meet with 60+ representatives from Texas and out-of-state schools to get information on becoming a competitive health professions applicant and information about the application and transition process.
Student Union Denman Ballroom (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
UTSA master's of fine arts student Lauren Riojas-Fitzpatrick showcases her thesis through an art exhibit.
Terminal 136, 136 Blue Star, San Antonio
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