Apr 2, 2021
June 11, 2019 - Arminco Inc.
Malocclusion is a severe misalignment of the teeth that requires the collagen fibers that connect the teeth to the bone to be cut off, and then braces will be put on the teeth to put them into a correct position.
For years, malocclusion was treated with a painful surgery using a traditional scalpel which cannot differentiate between the healthy tissue and the tissue that needs to be cut. Moreover, this procedure is often followed by a relapse in about 40% percent of the patients, requiring them to undergo surgery once again.
Researchers, led by Avi Schroeder at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, have published a paper about this procedure in a recent issue of ACS Nano.
Schroeder explains that with the help of enzyme-containing nanoparticles, this surgery can be performed in a much painless and natural way. The nanoparticles containing the body’s natural enzymes attack the diseased tissue without harming the healthy parts, and the patient will experience less pain and have a faster recovery time. The researchers found that a certain enzyme named collagenase can weaken the collagen fibers by approximately 50 percent— if activated by calcium, which occurs naturally in the mouth.
The collagenase weaken the collagen fibers, making it easier for braces to reorient the teeth, and thus the patient experiences less pain. After several hours, the body will notice the weakened collagens, and proceed to make new collagens to restore the fibers to their original strength. The tissue will then be remodeled in the new orientation, as opposed to teeth returning to their original position in the traditional surgical method.
Schroeder explained that this is the first time they had tried a bio-surgery approach to treat a problem in the body, and that they hope to have more research on organs and more challenging procedures in the future.
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