Developing a Living Composite Ligament by Combining Prolotherapy and Nanoparticles as Treatment for Damaged Connective Tissue

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Virginia Tech

Significant cost and debilitation results from connective tissue injury and disease every year. Prolotherapy is an effective medical treatment used to increase joint stability. However, most associated studies are retrospective or case studies, rather than comprehensive laboratory investigation originating with the cellular response to exposure to the proliferant solutions. As a parallel consideration, nanoparticles are being investigated for use in drug delivery and heat shock treatment of cancerous tissue due to their unique structural and thermal properties. The phenomenal strength and stiffness of carbon nanoparticles have been used for commercial purposes in composite materials, but investigation of biomedical applications is still fairly nascent. In an attempt to develop a non-surgical approach to supporting and healing damaged ligaments and tendons resulting from injury or disease by combining prolotherapy and the use of nanoparticles, the author presents studies investigating the cellular response to proliferative therapy solution as well as tendon and ligament tissue's mechanical and cellular response to exposure to nanoparticles. In the prolotherapy solution cell studies, the results suggested that there is an optimal dosage of the proliferant for in vitro studies, different responses between cell types, and a dosage-dependent response in cell viability and collagen production to the solution P2G in preosteoblasts. In the nanoparticle studies, cell populations tolerated nanoparticles at the levels tested, tendon mechanical properties were increased (stiffness significantly so), and bright field and transmission electron microscopic histological images were taken of connective tissue and carbon nanohorn interactions.

ligament, tendon, tissue engineering, carbon nanohorns, healing, prolotherapy, wound healing cascade, sprain, strain, musculoskeletal, nonsurgical