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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2016 Feb;104(2):476-82. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35583. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

Reducing bone cancer cell functions using selenium nanocomposites.

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Bioengineering Department, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115.
Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115.
Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research, University of King Abdulaziz, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Cancer recurrence at the site of tumor resection remains a major threat to patient survival despite modern cancer therapeutic advances. Osteosarcoma, in particular, is a very aggressive primary bone cancer that commonly recurs after surgical resection, radiation, and chemotherapeutic treatment. The objective of the present in vitro study was to develop a material that could decrease bone cancer cell recurrence while promoting healthy bone cell functions. Selenium is a natural part of our diet which has shown promise for reducing cancer cell functions, inhibiting bacteria, and promoting healthy cells functions, yet, it has not been widely explored for osteosarcoma applications. For this purpose, due to their increased surface area, selenium nanoparticles (SeNP) were precipitated on a very common orthopedic tissue engineering material, poly-l-lactic acid (or PLLA). Selenium-coated PLLA materials were shown to selectively decrease long-term osteosarcoma cell density while promoting healthy, noncancerous, osteoblast functions (for example, up to two times more alkaline phosphatase activity on selenium coated compared to osteoblasts grown on typical tissue culture plates), suggesting they should be further studied for replacing tumorous bone tissue with healthy bone tissue. Importantly, results of this study were achieved without the use of chemotherapeutics or pharmaceutical agents, which have negative side effects.


bone regeneration; nanocomposites; nanomedicine; osteosarcoma; selenium nanoparticles

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