Biomimetic patch to be tested on tricky tendon-to-bone repairs

A research group at Washington University in St. Louis has received more than $2 million to test a biomimetic material that promises to improve the success rate of the more than 75,000 rotator cuff (shoulder tendon) repairs performed each year in the United States. The natural attachment of tendon to bone relies on a transition zone where the material properties of bone shade into those of tendon. The biodegradable patch would provide an environment where stem cells could recreate this transition after surgery, making repairs less prone to failure.

Seeing melanoma

Two scientists at Washington University in St. Louis are able to image subcutaneous melanoma tumors with startling clarity. Their imaging technique relies on sound rather than light because sound is less strongly scattered by tissues. In addition, the tumors are preloaded with a nanoparticle contrast agent that latches onto proteins that stud the surface of the cancerous cells.