Magnetic surgical cement heals spinal fractures, provides targeted drug delivery

Magnetic surgical cement heals spinal fractures, provides targeted drug delivery
Researchers embed magnetic particles into surgical cement to help guide magnetic nanoparticles to the spinal column. Credit: University of Illinois at Chicago

Patients with spinal fractures caused by tumors or osteoporosis usually undergo a procedure called kyphoplasty, where the fracture is filled with surgical cement. While kyphoplasty can stabilize the bone, cancer patients are still often left with spinal column tumors that are very hard to reach with conventional chemotherapy, which has to cross the blood-brain barrier when delivered intravenously.

Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago report in the journal PLOS ONE, that by adding magnetic particles to surgical cement used to heal spinal , they could guide magnetic nanoparticles directly to lesions near the fractures. Nanoparticles bound to various drugs have been used to target drugs to specific locations or types of cells in the body. Most commonly, this is achieved by binding a minute amount of drug to the nanoparticle, which is designed to also bind to a specific type of cell, such as a cancer cell.

"By modifying the kyphoplasty bone cement, we can both stabilize the spinal column and provide a targeted drug delivery system. This is a very promising technology as it has the potential to become a surgical option for patients with primary spinal column tumors or tumors that metastasize to the spinal column," said Steven Denyer, a third-year medical student in the UIC College of Medicine and a co-lead author on the paper.

Using a pig model to study the magnetically-guided delivery system, Denyer and colleagues were successfully able to steer magnetic to the magnetic cement in the animal's spinal vertebrae. In future studies to test the efficacy of this technique on treating spinal column tumors, the would be bound to tiny amounts of chemotherapy drugs.

"Our study provides an in vivo proof-of-concept that this novel system can help treat underlying causes of in addition to providing structural support," said Abhiraj Bhimani, a fourth-year medical student in the UIC College of Medicine and a co-lead author on the paper.

Explore further

Kyphoplasty superior to vertebroplasty for vertebral fx

More information: Steven Denyer et al, Magnetic kyphoplasty: A novel drug delivery system for the spinal column, PLOS ONE (2018). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201402
Journal information: PLoS ONE

Citation: Magnetic surgical cement heals spinal fractures, provides targeted drug delivery (2018, July 27) retrieved 27 June 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-magnetic-surgical-cement-spinal-fractures.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
144 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more