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A new stage in the search for a biotechnological solution for the treatment of ENS

22.03.2021

We recently announced the search for a new biotech product that can alleviate the condition of patients with ENS who have a deficiency in nasal tissue. We are keeping you posted!

Illustration

How can the volume of nasal tissue be restored?

One of the causes of ENS symptoms is a dysfunction of the physiological movement of air in the nasal cavity due to the loss of part of the nasal sinuses. A possible solution to this problem is to restore the lost volume of tissue with tissue engineering tools.Tissue engineering is a field that deals with the creation of new tissues and organs for the therapeutic reconstruction of the damaged area.
Creating a tissue engineering construct (graft) includes several stages:1. Selection and cultivation of patient or donor cellular material.2. Development of a particular carrier for cells (matrix) based on biocompatible materials.3. Delivering of cell populations on the matrix.4. The direct imposition of the graft into the area needs reconstruction.
Regular implants made of inert materials can eliminate the physical and mechanical defects of damaged tissues but cannot restore biological functions. Therefore, for the effective reconstruction of lost nasal sinuses, it is necessary not only to restore the volume of connective tissue but also to recover their functionality. These manipulations will provide a physiological laminar airflow through the nasal passages.
The combination of synthetic material with materials of biological origin and stem cells is the basis of a new biotechnological product. This product will have unique properties:
biocompatibility; stability; high potential for tissue regeneration; the suitable consistency of the material.
With this product, it will be possible to repair soft tissue defects and regenerate them de novo in ENS patients. And the consistency of the new product will allow the administering in the minimally invasive way — with injection.

Biotechnological materials based on cellulose derivatives

The synthetic basis of the product is methylcellulose (MC) — a chemical compound derived from cellulose. Cellulose is a carbohydrate, organic biopolymer, fibrous, water-insoluble substance in plants' cell walls. Methylcellulose is cellulose in which methyl residues replace part of the hydrogen. This substance is often used for manufacturing hydrogels.
Hydrogels are inert substances that can be used to replace the volume of lost connective tissue. Most of the hydrogels in regenerative medicine are made from biopolymers, including methylcellulose. All because they have a unique 3D structure that is similar to the structure of a natural matrix. This material allows free movement between cells of growth factors, hormones, and other proteins that ensure the tissue's proper functioning.
Methylcellulose-based materials are already used for joint arthroplasty, vascular prototyping, dental implants, and corneal transplants.Our biotechnologists have chosen this substance to develop a new material that can help restore the volume of the nasal sinuses in patients with ENS.

Selection of MC concentration, testing of injection methods.

Before choosing the working concentration of methylcellulose, we tried four different options and chose the best one. The gel with the selected concentration of methylcellulose has an optimal consistency — it easily passes through the 18G needle and holds its shape well.

Why do we add a lyophilized fat matrix to the hydrogel?

The body's immune system eventually affects the implant with pure MC, and it is resorbed. To avoid this and provide the maximum natural environment for stem cells, their adhesion, and stimulation of tissue reorganization processes, we use a lyophilized cell-free matrix of adipose tissue.
Adipose tissue contains many biological tissue components: collagen, reticular and elastin fibers, endocrine, and paracrine factors. After special handling, only extracellular fibers remain in the tissue, forming the graft's biological framework. At the same time, cells do not remain there. Such a combined material (MC + lyophilized fat matrix) can germinate blood vessels and nerve fibers, and cells grow and proliferate better.

Purchase of equipment for drying biomaterials LyoQuest by Telstar.

To obtain a fat matrix in the suitable lyophilized form, we purchased a laboratory freezing (lyophilic) dryer LyoQuest, by Telstar. The device works at a temperature of -85 °C.Thanks to this equipment, we obtain a lyophilized adipose tissue matrix, which is necessary to create our biotechnological material.

LyoQuest Dryer

What's next?

The three-component graft made of methylcellulose, lyophilized fat matrix and MSC has every chance to become a material that will help restore the lost volume of the nasal sinuses and improve breathing in patients with ENS.
So we continue the research. The next step is an in vitro experiment.

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