Science and Tech


New injectable biomaterial could revolutionize tissue, cell repair

Scientists at UC San Diego have developed a new biomaterial that can be directly injected to repair damaged tissue and organs.
Biomaterial based on a hydrogel that was developed at UC San Diego.
Posted at 11:41 AM, Mar 08, 2023

Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of regenerative medicine with the development of an injectable biomaterial that can heal tissues from the inside out.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego say the new technology has the potential to revolutionize treatment for a wide range of diseases and injuries,  including damage from heart attacks.

One of the most significant advantages of the new biomaterial is its ability to be directly injected into damaged tissue.

Traditional methods of regenerative treatment, like stem cell therapy, often require invasive surgeries. This new treatment would allow patients to be treated by a simple injection, reducing both cost and risk.

“This biomaterial allows for treating damaged tissue from the inside out,” said Karen Christman, a professor of bioengineering at UC San Diego, and the lead researcher on the team. "It's a new approach to regenerative engineering."

An image of a brain affected by Alzheimer's disease

Scientists make key discovery in fighting brain diseases

Scientists have made a breakthrough that could make all the difference in helping treat and, one day, cure patients with neurodegenerative diseases.


Another advantage is its versatility. The injectable biomaterial has already shown promise in treating tissue damage caused by heart attacks and brain injuries, but researchers believe it could be used to treat a variety of other injuries.

“We sought to design a biomaterial therapy that could be delivered to difficult-to-access organs and tissues, and we came up with the method to take advantage of the bloodstream — the vessels that already supply blood to these organs and tissues,” said Martin Spang, the paper's first author. "While the majority of work in this study involved the heart, the possibilities of treating other difficult-to-access organs and tissues can open up the field of biomaterials/tissue engineering in treating new diseases."

The technology is still in the early stages of development, but testing showed it was effective in both rodents and large animals.

Clinical trials on its safety and efficacy in humans could begin within one to two years, Christman said.

Man drinking alcohol.

Patients taking Ozempic report losing desire to drink alcohol

The diabetes drug has already made headlines for its alleged weight loss benefits. Now, another surprising side affect is garnering attention.