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The University of Southampton
Micro and Nano Therapies

Bone Repair

Bone fractures and their associated complications pose a major societal problem that is set to get significantly worse as our population ages. In particular, 5-10% of all fractures progress in a state of delayed healing or imperfect union of bone tissue. At present there is no clinically approved treatment to rectify the debilitating results of impaired fracture healing. This is principally due to the cytotoxicity of the drugs required, in addition to the formation of bone tissue at non-specific sites. In order to achieve concentrated and site-specific drug delivery, ultrasound responsive drug carriers such as microbubbles and nanodroplets are being utilised. By combining the biological effect of the drug and the mechanical action of the delivery vehicle, bone regeneration can be focused specifically at the fracture site. A key component of this work is developing in-vitro models replicating the architecture and physical properties of bone fractures, to evaluate the behaviour of carriers upon physiologically relevant conditions. Optimal drug delivery to bone tissue requires movement of the drug out of the blood vessel, which is why nanodroplets are of particular interest.

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