Potentially revolutionary treatment: rotator cuff regeneration

Millions of people’s damaged shoulders each year might be repaired with the use of a novel method of muscle regeneration. The method promotes muscle growth in the rotator cuff muscles using cutting-edge ingredients.

The research was published on August 8th in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by UConn Health researchers.

Adults frequently sustain injuries like tears of the rotator cuff, one of the main tendons in the shoulder joint. Surgery has improved to the point where rotator cuff repairs are now viable. However, surgical failure rates might be very high.

According to a new study, a graphene/polymer matrix injected into shoulder muscle can prevent re-tear injuries. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the UConn School of Medicine under the direction of surgeon, engineer, and scientist Dr. Cato T. Laurencin.

According to Laurencin, “most restorations focus on the tendon” and how to best reattach it to the bone. “However, the actual issue is that muscle deteriorates and fat accumulates. A tear causes the muscle to contract and the body to start storing fat there instead.

The weakened muscle is unable to withstand normal loads when the tendon and muscle are finally surgically reattached to the shoulder bone, increasing the risk of further injury.

To create a polymer mesh impregnated with graphene nanoplatelets, Dr. Laurencin and graduate student Nikoo Shemshaki collaborated with other UConn Connecticut Convergence Institute experts.

The muscle grew back when it was utilised to reconstruct the shoulders of rats with chronic rotator cuff injuries and muscle atrophy.

In a petri dish in the lab, they attempted to grow muscle on the mesh, and they discovered that the substance appeared to promote the growth of myotubes, which are precursors to muscle, while discouraging the formation of fat.

“This definitely could be a ground-breaking method of treating rotator cuff problems. It deals with the real issue, which is fat gain and muscle deterioration “says Laurencin.

Studying the matrix in a huge animal is the next phase in their research. The group is eager to develop the technology in people.


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