European researchers working on the EUREKA
project ModPolEUV have found a new method of rebuilding parts of the
body that have been damaged using polymeric material.
Heitz, main coordinator of the ModPolEUV project and Senior Research Associate
at the University of Linz, Austria, along with Dr. Henryk Fiederowicz,
professor at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, and a team of
European scientists, have developed a new and better way of growing
human cells in the event that the body has been damaged.
polymeric material to regrow human cells is not a new discovery. According to
Heitz, researchers have known for a few years that synthetic polymeric
materials have the ability to not only grow, but also multiply human cells
significantly in order to develop new body parts faster. What's new about this
study is the method that this particular group of scientists chose in which to
grow the human cells.
his team have created a new laser-based
technology called EUV, which stands for Extreme Ultra-Violet. The beam
of EUV light was made with a special mirror, and when this EUV light hits the
material, new types of polymeric materials can be made. Specifically,
nano-structured polymer surfaces were created by the EUV technique.
technique has a high level of precision ranging from 10 to 20 nanometers, while
older techniques only had a precision level of 100 nanometers. This method also
conserves the material's structure.
greatest benefit of the EUV method is that the nano-structures made by this
technique are capable of influencing organic cells' behavior, which can cause
the cells to grow "better and faster depending on the type of polymer
one type of polymer material or another will help you grow different types of
muscle, nerves, cells adapted to a human heart, bone or any other part of the
human body," said Heitz.
can be used in a number of medical-related ways. For instance, the World Health
Organization estimates that 322,000 deaths worldwide per year are caused in
part by severe fire-related injuries. Several of these deaths could have been
prevented with surgery, but the problem is that patients with major burns do
not have enough skin to graft and need to have skin regrown by skin
cells. Prior to this new EUV technique, this process would take much
longer, increasing risk of infection in the burn patients exposed wounds.
method can also be used to develop
medical implants. In the future, it could be used in many fields such as microelectronics,
micro-mechanics, and integrated optics.
technique is still in a testing phase, but has already been installed into
laboratories in the United States, Germany, Japan, China, South Korea, the
Czech Republic and France. The next step will be to prepare for the commercial