Inflammation in ceramic scaffolds boost bone regeneration

In their bid to design new bio-materials that promote tissue regeneration, scientists have identified how inflammation, when precisely controlled, is crucial for bone repair.

The findings showed that a new type of ceramic scaffold causes inflammatory cells to behave in a way that is more regenerative than scaffolds that are currently used clinically.
The reason can be attributed to macrophages — swallowing white blood cells that digest foreign particles, the researchers said.

“We wanted to know why these scaffolds were successful and to understand the contributions of macrophages to that process,” said Kara Spiller, Associate Professor Drexel University, in Pennsylvania, the US.

The findings showed that the new ceramic scaffolds caused macrophages to transform into an M2c phenotype, meaning they express genes associated with re-modelling.

This behaviour was not seen in the scaffolds that have been approved to be used in humans.

Further, the study also found that macrophages must be in direct contact with the scaffold in order to regenerate tissue.

“The macrophages degrade the scaffolds and shape them into something new,” Spiller said.

Determining why certain scaffolds are successful in re-growing bone will ultimately help biomedical engineers design other types of scaffolds and new drug delivery strategies to promote healing in other areas of the body, the researchers concluded in the paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

FiveAI will compete against Google, Tesla in driverless car sector

FiveAI, a Britain-based startup, is working on a technology that is data light and fully autonomous.

It seems that Google and Tesla have a new competitor in their driverless car projects — FiveAI, a Britain-based startup that is working on a technology that is data light and fully autonomous.

The startup, with Amadeus Capital — the venture capital company leading the investment — has secured $2.7 million in equity funding to help develop an artificial intelligence (AI) system capable of driving a car, Forbes reported on Sunday.

The startup’s concept is different from Google and Tesla as FiveAI’s project would have a vehicle fitted out with sensors all processed by a central computer capable of “machine learning”, that is, capability of picking up information from encounters and applying it to future situations.

It uses sensors to perceive what is out there — identifying things like road, pavement, street signs, pedestrians and other cars, Forbes quoted Steve Allpress, Chief Technology Officer at FiveAI, as saying.

It builds up a probablisitic picture of what is likely to happen that can see how our own actions and (others’) actions will influence possible options in order to then plan the safest route, Allpress said.

While Tesla’s autopilot feature does not provide full autonomy, meaning, it is a driving aid that requires a human to be in charge at all times, Google’s system does not require human oversight but it is very data heavy.

Google has created a detailed point cloud with millions of data points on each road in order to build a 3D picture of how it looks without anyone in it. It can then subtract that out to know what the system is currently seeing, Allpress noted.

Invariably humans do not always pay attention when they should. We want to get to the point where you can de-couple the human from the vehicle, Allpress added.