UIC Barcelona and UCAM discover a liquid that slows down pyorrhoea and partially slows down peri-implantitis
Researchers at the Regenerative Medicine Research Institute of the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC Barcelona) and the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM) have patented a bioactive liquid (Bone Bioactive Liquid) that signals a revolutionary treatment for patients with pyorrhoea. The biomaterial encourages bone and gum regeneration in a way that avoids the inevitable loss of the tooth. This represents a major advance for this disease, which affects between 16% and 30% of Spanish people over 35 years of age according to an oral health survey published by the Spanish Dental Association (2010).
Pyorrhoea arises from inflammation and infection in the bones that support the teeth, which provokes a separation of the two elements and the loss of the latter. In fact, this condition, also known as periodontitis, is the main cause of tooth loss in adults. The liquid that has been discovered attracts stem cells from the bone, or osteoprogenitor cells, to the damaged area which adhere, proliferate and end up differentiating themselves as mineralised bone matrix or else what amounts to the same thing: mature bone. This bone generation encourages a much better bond with the teeth, preventing them from falling out.
Bone Bioactive Liquid has a second important application in the treatment of peri-implantitis, an inflammation that can occur between one and three years after the fitting of a titanium implant. In this case the liquid also acts to attract bone stem cells, which avoids inflammation of the tissue around the implant and its potential loss. “Rejection is one of the challenges faced by all implant companies, especially in patients with osteoporosis. They have spent years researching how to solve this bone loss”, according to Doctor Maher Atari, head of the Regenerative Medicine Research Institute and discoverer of stem cells in wisdom teeth (DPPSC).
The liquid was first developed based on this line of research and on the results of two doctoral theses. Later it was trialled in vivo in an animal model under the direction of Doctor José Luis Calvo Guirado, Director of the International Chair for Dentistry Research at UCAM.
For their attachment to the bone to be long-lasting it is necessary for mineralised bone matrix to be produced. “This process usually takes between three and six months. With the expanded use of this new liquid, the period is reduced to a fortnight, thereby eliminating the uncertainty,” explained Dr Atari in what is already a third use for Bone Bioactive Liquid.
“The manufacturing process of the new liquid is neither complicated nor expensive and working with it in surgical procedures is simple”, says Dr Atari. It is suitable for use with any type of titanium surface and its efficiency and stability have been thoroughly analysed, meaning that it offers the optimum conditions for use in humans. In fact, UIC Barcelona and UCAM are currently in negotiations with several major companies in the sector with a view to licensing the patent.