The Department of Defense (DOD) https://www.defense.gov awarded a $5.6 million grant to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock https://ualr.edu to speed and advance the NuCress™ scaffold, a new bone generation technology. The NuCress scaffold is an implantable device that promotes controlled robust bone regeneration in fractures, gaps where bone is missing, and in the case of major injury defects, including previously untreatable catastrophic injuries.
The devices are in high demand by a wide variety of people, including wounded soldiers, victims of major accidents and trauma, and patients with bone disease. Studies funded by past DOD awards have proved the scaffold’s versatility and ability to regenerate large missing segments of bone.
The funding brings together an interdisciplinary team led by Dr. Alex Biris, Director of the UA Little Rock Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences, https://ualr.edu/nanotechnology Dr. David Anderson at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and Dr. Mark Smeltzer from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Studies funded in the past with DOD awards have proved the scaffold’s versatility and ability to regenerate large missing segments of bone. Development of the scaffold is in the final stages of moving from the laboratory to the surgical theater with potential future uses in both military and civilian hospitals.
The new four year DOD award will support pre-market work, including manufacturing and FDA clearance. If successful, the project will enable the scaffold to move towards clinical trials, validate the scaffold’s utility for clinicians, and develop a new market application for treating infection.
According to the interdisciplinary team from UA Little Rock working on the project, “The NuCress scaffold is a game changing technology that will revolutionize treatment of bone diseases because it is capable of simultaneously promoting bone regeneration and also capable of delivering antibiotics, growth factors, and cell-based therapies.”
The Army Medical Research Acquisition at Fort Detrick MD https://usamraa.army.mil is the awarding and administering acquisition office for the funding. The research is being supported by DOD through the Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program under award number W81XWH1920014.