Extra cellular matrix molecules in bone formation

About the project

The projects aim at investigating the potential of hard tissue matrix molecules and peptides to induce and promote hard tissue repair, growth and regeneration.

The biological induction of repair and regrowth of viable skeletal tissues would improve the success of current treatments in terms of function and aesthetics. It would also significantly reduce costs by reducing healing time and the “time to load”. Until recently most biological attempts to solve this problem have been based on xenografts, autografts or allografts, where the grafts are supposed to be integrated into newly formed bone. It has been believed for almost a decade that the ”new generation” of bone forming products will be based on growth factors, but no products have attained regulatory approval. Growth factors are pluripotent polypeptides that are difficult to administer, since their activities vary with concentration, available cell receptors and time and duration of application. No growth factor based product for bone growth has so far attained regulatory approval in Europe. Recently the introduction of a different approach using extracellular matrix proteins has been developed for regeneration of periodontal attachment and alveolar bone. It is now an accepted fact that application of matrix proteins, such as amelogenin, can stimulate regrowth of hard tissues. Their inherent ability to form stable functional macromolecular matrices provides macrostructure for tissue support. This in combination with their ability to induce cell specific developmental processes is believed to be the key to their success. This type of ”bio-mimicry” has the potential to provide fruitful biomedical strategies for inducing natural repair and regrowth of other skeletal tissues including cartilage and ligament.

The project uses advanced molecular and cell biology approaches to study the role of matrix molecules in processes related to bone development, homeostasis, biomineralization and regeneration.


The ongoing project was initiated in 2001 and have received funding from UiO, The Norwegian cancer foundation, The Norwegian Research Council and the EU (grant QLK3-CT-2001-00090)



Tags: Collagens, Ameloblastin, Biomaterial and Tissue regeneration, Extra cellular matrix, Biomaterials, Amelogenin
Published Nov. 1, 2010 3:55 PM - Last modified Oct. 5, 2012 10:06 AM