University Opportunities

GF Synergy - Microenvironments For Bone Tissue Regeneration


Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

About Opportunity

Following injury or disease, an organism undergoes a variety of (natural or induced) processes to direct cells, tissues and cellular processes towards healing and eventually regeneration. These processes generally involve growth factors (GFs), substances that control cell function through the activation of specific signalling pathways and that are capable of stimulating cellular growth, proliferation, and cellular differentiation.

rhBMP-2 is a powerful growth factor that is essential in tissue morphogenesis and is utilised to promote bone growth in trauma, spine and maxillofacial clinical applications. Current clinical delivery has however encountered serious complications associated with the high doses used.

The technology is based on synthetic materials that allow the simultaneous and co-localised signalling between growth factor receptors and integrins. These polymeric materials organise fibronectin (FN), an important protein of the extracellular matrix, and sequester rhBMP-2 in synergy with the integrin binding region to direct stem cell differentiation in vitro.

In vitro testing and animal models have demonstrated that this new technology enhances bone regeneration and vascularisation with much lower and safer rhBMP-2 doses (< 5 mg/cm3). Results are comparable to the higher doses used currently in the clinic (~ 1.5 mg/cm3), which makes the technology robust in terms of safety, effectiveness and economically competitive to current commercially available products.

Current commercial uses of rhBMP-2 growth factor can be complicated, adsorbed in collagen sponges or other materials at high doses. The GF Synergy technology has been developed with these challenges in mind for easy integration into medical devices and implants manufacturing. The base materials can be manufactured in the form of biocompatible implantable constructs and orthobiology products. For regeneration applications the materials can be coated on bioabsorbable materials already commonly used in medical devices.

Key Benefits

Safer, minimal dose delivery of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) for bone tissue engineering.
Easy to develop into commercial clinical products, as the technology is acellular and requires only use of autologous or recombinant human proteins and growth factors.
Control of synergistic signalling between cell adhesion and growth factor receptors as in physiological environments
Based on synthetic materials commonly used in other biomedical approved applications


Clinical bone regeneration – the GF Synergy technology can be used to make bone substitutes for non-union fractures, materials for spinal fusion procedures, and to improve long term stability of implants.
Stem cell/osteoblast research – The technology is useful to academics interested in studying bone differentiation in cell culture research projects
Pharma – the device provides ‘clean’ osteogenesis in 2D and 3D and so will be useful in the study of drugs for e.g. osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfect etc.

IP Status

Contact is welcomed from organisations interested in developing, licensing or exploiting this IP with a view to commercialisation.

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