The University of Arkansas was delivered a major win, with the disbursement by the U.S. Department of Defense of a grant award in the sum of $5.6 million dollars. The grant hopes to further advance new groundbreaking nanotechnology that the university has been developing, regarding bone regeneration technology.
The NuCress scaffold is a revolutionary new device that assists in bone regeneration when used on trauma patients, as a result of injury that leads to bone gaps, or even just fractures. The device is believed to have the ability to even restore hope into previously catastrophic injuries that may not have been able to be dealt with otherwise.
The grant seeking efforts were spearheaded by the University of Arkansas along with U.S. Sen. John Boozman, who was key in securing the grant as well as earlier funding for the project during it’s initial phases. He along with the university believe that this technology is of utter importance in the treatment of war related injuries and treatment of soldiers that might not have otherwise been able to be treated or had any options for recovery. The devices ability to degrade as bone grows is a key feature that researches hope will allow for less invasive procedures and surgeries which are often the causes of complications with bone gap treatment currently.
The research team itself is quite diverse, bringing together an interdisciplinary team that have been able to apply each of their skill sets into a brand new area of science and technology that is looking to revolutionize the way bone recovery is done. The team is led by Dr. Alex Biris, with other teams from the University of Tennessee and UAMS also joining the research efforts.
The project which has been ongoing since 2006 with efforts by research team leaders Dr. Biris and Anderson, has become a pioneering feat which has reached a point of being in final stages of lab testing. The grant award part of the DOD’s Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program will allow the team the ability to further the transition of the product from lab testing to primary surgical practice in hopes of reaching usability in military and civilian practice. With the wide ranging applications of the product, spanning from major accident victims, to war time victims, to bone disease patients, and soldiers, this does not seem like a far-reaching goal.
The teams’ ability to integrate nanotechnology into a device that allows for promotion of bone regeneration as well as delivery of necessary antibiotics and other needed cell based therapies, makes it much more practical for recovery than currently implemented techniques.
Government grants allowing for acceleration of innovative new technologies that can benefit the masses are out there and allow for research teams such as the one at the University of Arkansas to make strides in the right direction, but they are not alone and many more grants are out there and available to help further new technologies and research projects that could potentially benefit society in a grander scale.