The research study was conducted by Professor Youngkyo Seo of Life Sciences along with Dr. Jitendra N. Tiwari of Chemistry in collaboration with Professor Kwang S. Kim of Natural Science, Professor Pann-Ghill Suh of Life Sciences and seven other researchers from UNIST.
‘The potential of carbon nitride sheets in bone formation and directing human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) towards bone regeneration is identified.’
They reported that red-light-absorbing carbon nitride (C3N4) sheets may lead to the remarkable proliferation and ability to renew and multiply into different cells by the activation of runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2) which is a key factor for osteoblast differentiation ( involves the differentiation of a single cell that synthesizes bone).
The study results which were published in the ACS Nano journal
, found to enhance bone regeneration.
Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) were successfully tried to regenerate bones in fracture patients. The use of carbon nanotubes, graphenes and nano-oxides to improve the functions of the stem cells were also tried to create successful treatment options for fracture patients.
Carbon nitride (C3N4) Sheets
Professor Kim and Professor Suh examined the C3N4 sheets and found it to be capable of absorbing the red light, emitting fluorescence that can be used to speed up bone regeneration.
The research team synthesized carbon nitrogen derivatives from melamine compounds and further analyzed the light-absorbing properties of C3N4 sheets at a wavelength range of 455-635nm.
The carbon nitride sheets emit fluorescence at a wavelength of 635nm which when exposed to red light in a liquid state. During this time, the released electrons may induce accumulation of calcium in the cytoplasm.
The stem cells and cancer cells were cultured in a medium containing 200 μg/ml of carbon nitride sheets. After two days of testing, the carbon nitride sheet showed no cytotoxicity and can be used as a biomaterial.
The researchers also confirmed that carbon nitride sheets act on stem cells to osteoblast differentiation to promote mineral formation. During this process, osteogenic differentiation marker genes proliferated and the activation of Rux2 (Runt-related transcription factor 2). This resulted in an increased differentiation of cells that synthesize bone and accelerated bone formation.
Professor Young-Kyo Seo, said, "This research has opened up the possibility of developing a new medicine that effectively treats skeletal injuries, such as fractures and osteoporosis."
"It will be a very useful tool for making artificial joints and teeth with the use of 3D printing."
He also added that, "This is an important milestone in the analysis of biomechanical functions needed for the development of biomaterials, including adjuvants for hard tissues such as damaged bones and teeth."
- Jitendra N. Tiwari, Young-Kyo Seo, Taeseung Yoon, Wang Geun Lee, Woo Jong Cho, Muhammad Yousuf, Ahmad M. Harzandi, Du-Seok Kang, Kwang-Youn Kim, Pann-Ghill Suh, Kwang S. Kim. Accelerated Bone Regeneration by Two-Photon Photoactivated Carbon Nitride Nanosheets. ACS Nano, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b07138