About this Research Topic
Recent discoveries in nanotechnology are promoting a growing revolution across all area of medicine through the tailoring of structures and functionalities of biomaterials at extremely small scales (similar to most biomolecules). At the nanoscale quantum mechanics takes over from classical mechanics, thus nanomaterials have unique behaviors. For instance, the huge surface area of nanomaterials allows nanoscale materials to better interact with, and locally manipulate, cells. This provides us with unprecedented tools for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
Nanomaterials (such as biocompatible nanoparticles, nano-devices, biosensors, and nanostructured materials) have been successfully employed in living organisms for a controlled delivery and sensing/targeting of bioactive molecules (i.e., peptides, genes) for regeneration purposes . For example, nanoparticles for drug delivery are able to preserve the payload and are attuned to take advantage of the peculiar properties of the delivery targets at the nanoscale, while biomimetic nanomaterial implants can now closely match the architecture, chemistry and physical properties (i.e., fluid transport, biomechanics) of different tissues.
In the clinic, nanotechnology may be the key to restore and preserve functionality and health when injury, disease, or degeneration occur in musculoskeletal tissues such as bone, cartilage, spine, and muscle. Using nanomaterials with improved cell interaction (able to immunomodulate body response) could lay down the basis to overcome unsolved challenges and provide innovative solutions to recurrent problems in orthopedics. Examples include:
• Nanostructured devices with improved surface properties, which improve the interface with host tissues thus reducing infection/rejection problems and recovery time compared to the older devices
• Implantable biosensors with highly tunable electrical and/or magnetic conductive response, which allow the detection and guidance of in vivo bone growth
• Nanocarriers with greater precision in molecular delivery, allowing coupling targeting strategies to implant coatings or nanosensors building towards a revolutionized therapeutic approach for musculoskeletal tissues
This research topic aims to provide an overview of the advancements that different nanomaterials have achieved in restoring structure and/or functionality of different musculoskeletal tissues such as bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament, spine and muscles. Hence, we intend to obtain a comprehensive analysis of the development and accomplishment of the most challenging nanotechnologies primarily in the field of orthopedic applications. Submissions are welcome, but not limited to, covering the following topics
• Drug delivery systems for therapeutic treatment and diagnostics/theranostics
• Bio-instructive scaffolds and lab-on-a-chip solutions for in vitro and in vivo tissue regeneration
• Ex vivo design or modification of implants to solve specific surgical issues
• Antibacterial treatments for orthopedic devices
Keywords: Nanotechnology, orthopedics, nanomaterials, drug delivery, cell interaction
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