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Magnetic Kyphoplasty Helps Spinal Fractures Heal

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 08 Aug 2018
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Image: A new study claims magnetic bone cement can be used to guide drugs to VCFs (Photo courtesy of UIC).
Image: A new study claims magnetic bone cement can be used to guide drugs to VCFs (Photo courtesy of UIC).
Adding magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) to surgical cement could help surgeons approximate hard to reach spinal fractures, claims a new study.

The novel magnetically-guided drug delivery system, developed by researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC, USA), is based on modified kyphoplasty cement that incorporates MNPs, which act as both a guidance stimulus and a localizer for treating vertical compression fractures (VCFs). To test the efficacy of the system, a porcine kyphoplasty model involving cannulated pedicle needles placed into the thoracic vertebra was used. Following inflatable bone tamp expansion, the magnetic bone cement was injected to the vertebral body.

The second stage involved injection of MNPs intravenously, with subsequent histological and qualitative analysis of harvested tissues. The results showed successful placement of magnetic bone cement into the vertebral body and enhanced accumulation of MNPs to the regions that underwent initial injection of magnetic bone cement during the thoracic kyphoplasty procedure. According to the researchers, the technique could also be used to treat spinal column tumors by binding chemotherapy drugs to the MNPs. The study was published on July 27, 2018, in PLOS One.

“By modifying the kyphoplasty bone cement, we can both stabilize the spinal column and provide a targeted drug delivery system,” said co-lead author third-year medical student Steven Denyer, of the UIC College of Medicine. “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.”

VCFs caused by metastatic malignancies or osteoporosis are devastating injuries with debilitating outcomes for patients. Minimally invasive kyphoplasty is a common procedure used for symptomatic amelioration, but it fails to treat the underlying etiologies of VCFs. Cancer patients are often left with spinal column tumors that are very hard to reach with conventional chemotherapy, which has to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) when delivered intravenously.

Related Links:
University of Illinois in Chicago

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