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Regenerative medicine: the new ultrasound stimulation therapy has been tested for anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages, the cells of the immune system
The study, published in APL Bioengineering, originated in a collaboration between the Institute of BioRobotics of the Sant’Anna School and the companies BAC Technology and Image Guided Therapy. “The findings may pave the way for safe and effective treatment of conditions in which chronic inflammation plays an important role.”
A new therapy based on ultrasound stimulation has been seen to have anti-inflammatory effects on human macrophages and thus more effectively combat pathologies in which chronic inflammation plays a relevant role. This is the main result of a study published in the journal APL Bioengineering, and conducted by the Institute of BioRobotics of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, together with two manufacturers of medical devices, the Italian company BAC Technology, and the French company Image Guide Therapy. The research was carried out as part of the European project ADMAIORA (ADvanced nanocomposite MAterIals fOr in situ treatment and ultRAsound-mediated management of osteoarthritis), focused on the treatment of osteoarthritis, and coordinated by Prof. Leonardo Ricotti.
“The results obtained from this study may pave the way for the treatment of pathologies in which chronic inflammation plays an important role, such as osteoarthritis and polyneuropathy”, states Andrea Cafarelli, researcher of the Institute of BioRobotics and the ADMAIORA project on non-invasive ultrasound stimulation technologies.
Ultrasound stimulation to improve the anti-inflammatory effects of macrophages
Inflammation control is critical in the management of various pathologies, including cancer, peripheral polyneuropathy, and osteoarthritis. Currently, in the clinical setting, anti-inflammatory drugs are not always satisfactory, and can cause harmful side effects for the patient.
The first to trigger an immune response in the human body following inflammation are macrophages, the cells of the immune system that produce inflammatory signals driving the immune response.
“In our study,” comments Francesco Iacoponi, PhD student of the Institute of BioRobotics and first author of the paper, “we investigated the bioeffects of a non-invasive and very safe therapy consisting of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound, in order to understand what the best parameters could be for lowering the inflammation induced by macrophages as much as possible”.
To do this, a particular system was used, patented and developed in recent years by the research group coordinated by Prof. Ricotti, and consisting of various components that allow the biological sample to be exposed to a well-controlled dose of mechanical energy.
Ultrasound stimulation to fight chronic inflammation
The collaboration between the BioRobotics Institute of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, BAC Technology and Image Guided Therapy has made it possible to develop a study that is part of a line of high potential research. Indeed, the results are very promising, and could form a solid basis for future clinical treatments aimed at reducing inflammation in a specific area of the body.
Francesco Iacoponi, Andrea Cafarelli, Francesco Fontana, Tiziano Pratellesi, Erik Dumont, Ivana Barravecchia, Debora Angeloni, Leonardo Ricotti, ‘Optimal low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation for promoting anti-inflammatory effects in macrophages’, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, Department of Excellence in Robotics & AI, Italy, BAC Technology s.r.l., Italy, Image Guided Therapy, France
(March 27, 2023 – Press Office Bac Technology)