Oral presentation: Marine extracts for bone healing

Matthew Carson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


Introduction This project focuses on screening marine extracts for their osteogenic potential, with a view to developing novel medical treatments for various musculoskeletal conditions. One such condition is osteoporosis, a bone pathology prevalent in elderly people which causes decreased bone strength and greater risk of fracture. With an aging population and limited efficacy of current treatments, this disease is associated with an increasing burden and high health care costs: €37 billion in Europe in 2010, with a predicted 28% increase by 2025(1).It is hypothesized that marine extracts, particularly mineralizing ones, may contain osteogenic factors capable of stimulating osteoblast activity and/or enhancing bone mineralization. If an extract is shown to have a positive effect it may be suitable for application to areas of bone trauma, or for use in conjunction with synthetic bone substitutes.Materials and MethodsExtracts were processed from a variety of different Irish marine invertebrates at NUIG, including broad taxonomic groups like algae, sponges and corals. Briefly, raw material was treated with DCM and methanol to produce both a dissolved and undissolved residue fraction. At QUB both fractions were used in cell-based assays. Taking powder residue as an example, this material was dissolved in 0.1M NaOH(2) before being neutralized and added to culture medium. Treatment solutions were tested on both a cell line (hFOB 1.19) and primary cells (hBMSCs). Toxicity was determined by LDH assay after 1 day of culture, whilst cell viability and proliferation were tested by XTT and crystal violet assay respectively, over the course of 1 week in culture. Cell differentiation tests are ongoing and currently focused on alkaline phosphatase expression and the degree of mineralization. Results and DiscussionTo date, approximately 105 extracts have been tested for their impact on osteoblast toxicity and proliferation. The majority of these, particularly those that dissolved in DCM/methanol, showed low cell toxicity but only limited effects on cell proliferation. Powder residue extracts on the other hand are also non-toxic but show more potential in stimulating cell proliferation. Extract inclusion (see figure) is able to increase cell proliferation two-fold, even with concentrations as low as 0.1%. These pronounced effects have so far only been seen for algal residues, especially those from red algae like Plocamium cartilagineum. As yet, the specific bioactive components of these extracts are unclear, though preliminary tests indicate they may be proteinaceous. Related work on these species and Rhodophyta in general is very limited, though novel osteogenic molecules like floridoside(3) have been previously detected from this phylum. Future work will focus on assessing the effect of these extracts on osteoblast differentiation. Furthermore, in vivo mineralogenic capability will be ascertained using a zebrafish model, during collaboration with the University of Algarve. References1. Hernlund E. et al. Arch. Osteoporos. 8: 136, 20132. Harnedy P. A. & FitzGerald R.J. Food Sci. Technol. 51: 1, 20133. Ryu B. et al. J Funct. Foods. 19, 2015Acknowledgements The Beaufort Marine Research Award
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2016
EventDoctoral and Post—Doctoral Nursing and Midwifery Research Showcase event : Making an impact on education and practice - Queens University, Belfast , United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Sep 2016 → …


ConferenceDoctoral and Post—Doctoral Nursing and Midwifery Research Showcase event : Making an impact on education and practice
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period21/09/2016 → …


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