March 2020
Vol 6, Issue 13

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ONLINE COVER A heightened metabolic state can accelerate tissue regeneration in organisms by boosting anabolic biosynthesis and mitosis. If cellular bioenergetics could be reprogramed to further accelerate these processes for regenerative medicine, patients could experience shorter hospitalization periods with less suffering and lower costs. However, there has been limited success in developing approaches to reprogram metabolic states in order to better treat serious tissue injuries. Liu et al. developed a degradable polymer scaffold made from bioenergetic-active material (BAM), which is composed of units that slowly degrade when it is implanted in the body, impacting the flow of cellular energy to enhance the repair of bone defects. Through in vitro experiments, the researchers showed that rat stem cells can use the units to significantly elevate the abilities of the mitochondria that power their cells. Liu and colleagues demonstrated the material in rabbits with weight-bearing bone defects, finding that the BAM scaffold greatly enhanced bone repair compared to commercialized poly (lactic acid) and calcium phosphate ceramic scaffolds. [CREDIT: DR. GAOJIE YANG, HUAZHONG UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY]