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Restorative Medicine
An Innovative Approach to Treat Even the Most Stubborn-to-Heal Fractures
An Innovative Approach to Treat Even the Most Stubborn-to-Heal Fractures
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Our body’s repair machinery is adept at healing many instances of broken bones. Even so, some fractures are just too complex, requiring an innovative therapeutic approach. An invention called 3ZM, developed by Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery Francesca Taraballi, PhD, is designed to help even the most stubborn-to-heal fractures toward a swift path to recovery.
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Francesca Taraballi, PhD
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Bradley K. Weiner, MD
Unlike other bone grafts that are infused with proteins, such as BMP-2, 3ZM does not contain any protein cargo. Instead, the collagen-based graft is already highly osteogenic. Consequently, 3ZM-based bone recovery is less susceptible to bone growth outside the injury site, which has been an unwanted side effect of current FDA-approved grafts. Furthermore, 3ZM is pliable and can be easily sutured to the location of bone damage, and the material dissolves as the bone heals, leaving no trace other than a healed bone.
In preclinical models, 3ZM guided immune, stem, and bone cells to remodel a fractured area into a functional bone. Within six weeks, the fracture had healed, and the implanted materials were resorbed by the body, leaving the bone strong. As a next step, Taraballi is collaborating with an external agency to conduct toxicology tests so they can apply for FDA approval and bring their innovation a step closer to clinics.
3ZM Steps in Healing Process
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3 Zonal Membrane (3ZM) is cut and shaped to fit the defect site and then sutured to the surrounding periosteum. The process requires only one operation and no additional growth factors. After four to six weeks, the bone is fully healed, and the 3ZM is absorbed.
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