Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Angiogenic Nanotechnologies for Bone Repair and Regeneration

Technology #6834

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Steven Buchman
Managed By
Tiefei Dong
Senior Licensing Specialist, Life Sciences 734-763-5332
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Bone fractures are a common and costly medical problem in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 6 million Americans experience fractures annually, and 10% of those fractures will result in impaired healing. When a fracture occurs, the initial healing response is highly dependent on functional blood vessels. These blood vessels are necessary in order to supply the fracture site with the necessary molecular and cellular substrates required to successfully heal a fracture. Unfortunately, a variety of conditions or mechanisms of injury can affect blood vessel formation and normal blood vessel anatomy, such as osteoradionecrosis, avascular necrosis, diabetes, advanced age and ballistic injuries. When these conditions are present and a fracture occurs, the bone may fail to heal completely or heal in a significantly delayed fashion. For these reasons, research involving the interface between blood vessel development and the healing of fractures is critical.

Technology Description

The current technology overcomes the shortcomings of the existing methods for the delivery of deferoxamine (DFO), which has been shown to increase angiogenesis when injected locally in small doses into a fracture callus. The existing method requires repeated injections due to rapid clearance via systemic circulation and could result in a potential infection at the injection site. The technology herein simplifies the delivery strategy by using implantable technology that couples tiny, resorbable-biocompatible Hyaluronic Acid (HA) nanoparticles to deferoxamine (DFO), a potent PHD inhibitor. This coupling is ideal because it allows for the manipulation of time-release patterns and optimizes the effect of the drug at sites of bone injury. Additionally, both of these molecules are already FDA approved for other applications, making the prospect of rapid translation a concrete possibility. The preliminary studies demonstrate the efficacy of this nano-DFO formulation when compared to identical experimentation utilizing the multiple injection method.


  • Improve blood vessel formation at fracture site
  • Improve fracture repair in diabetic patients
  • Helps regenerate jawbone/pelvic bone in patients receiving radiation/chemotherapy


  • Elimination of repeated injections
  • Sustained release of drug release
  • Fewer injections resulting in reduced susceptibility to infection.
  • Biocompatible polymer material
  • Easily resorbed by the body
  • Use of FDA-approved molecules