With support from a 3-year, $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the U.S. Military Academy and the Naval Medical Center are developing nanostructural polymer-based treatments that may eliminate the pathological formation of bone in soft tissue that commonly follows orthopaedic surgeries and limb amputations.
Data indicates that heterotopic ossification occurs in >60% of military personnel who incur bone injury resulting in amputation. Further, >90% of hip replacement procedures in the civilian U.S. population show signs of ossification.
The research team is focusing upon a nanostructural polymer composite to deliver a ribonucleic acid directly to cells at the trauma site. CMU researchers report there is a patent pending on the therapy and a clinical trial schedule will be developed once the preventative platform is fully lab-tested.