Surgical blades are common medical tools. However, blades cannot distinguish between healthy and diseased tissue, thereby creating unnecessary damage, lengthening recovery, and increasing pain. We propose that surgical procedures can rely on natural tissue remodeling tools - enzymes, which are the same tools our body uses to repair itself. Through a combination of nanotechnology and a controllably activated proteolytic enzyme, we performed a targeted surgical task in the oral cavity. More specifically, we engineered nanoparticles that contain collagenase in a deactivated form. Once placed at the surgical site, collagenase was released at a therapeutic concentration and activated by calcium, its biological cofactor that is naturally present in the tissue. Enhanced periodontal remodeling was recorded due to enzymatic cleavage of the supracrestal collagen fibers that connect the teeth to the underlying bone. When positioned in their new orientation, natural tissue repair mechanisms supported soft and hard tissue recovery and reduced tooth relapse. Through the combination of nanotechnology and proteolytic enzymes, localized surgical procedures can now be less invasive.
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© 2018 American Chemical Society.
- extracellular matrix
- protein delivery