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小样本揭示骨骼的分子机制 - China Medical Device Manufacturer
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Fri, January 19th, 2018

2008年3/4月CMDM电子快讯 » 技术新知
小样本揭示骨骼的分子机制

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通过对宽度仅2 m的骨骼样本进行分析,可以更加完善对骨骼疾病的诊断和治疗。哈佛-麻省理工卫生科学与技术部(HST;美国麻州,cambridge)的研究人员可通过这些样本获取骨骼的机械特性,并得出其健康程度。

MIT小组使用的骨探针使研究人员可在纳米级观测骨矿物质中的骨胶原。这有助于他们了解能量吸收,并有望开发出更坚硬的植入物材料。

随着年龄的增长和疾病的出现,骨骼的结构、质量和密度都会发生显著变化。因此,了解人体内主要的承重结构组织骨骼的机械特性,具有极其重要的医学意义。Christine Ortiz解释道。Ortiz是研究负责人,也是HST材料科学与工程学的副教授。

研究小组发现,在较小区域内,骨骼的机械特性变化很大。由于疾病或衰老引起的各种身体失调,均可导致骨骼结构发生改变,因此,研究人员发现的极小范围的骨骼机械特性不均匀现象,都有助于改进疾病诊断。例如,如果骨骼结构内的特定纳米级硬度模式与疾病或衰老有关,这些模式就有可能更早被发现,或提供更好的证据来确定失调。研究人员使用分子力探针获取小块牛骨骼碎片,将其硬度绘制成二维图谱。随后研究小组利用公式化计算机模型,将实验结果应用到大规模生物机械特性。例如,他们通过该模型发现,不均匀的硬度模式有助于骨骼吸收能量。

能观测到如此漂亮、复杂的模式,我感到很惊讶。Ortiz说。细胞可以感应环境应力并产生反应。由于骨骼力的不同局部机械特性会改变细胞周围的应力值,细胞的行为也随之改变,从而对组织的健康产生影响。该研究由Whitaker基金、美国陆军研究办公室、MIT军事纳米技术研究中心和美国国立卫生研究院共同资助。


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