Researchers have developed a synthetic bone that stimulates bone regeneration!

3D printed, this synthetic bone is capable of fully repairing a spinal injury. How? ‘Or’ What ? By promoting the fusion of the vertebrae, a major advance in terms of bone regeneration, although the tests carried out successfully have been carried out on rats, among others.

This synthetic bone was obtained from a malleable and resistant bio-material, stimulating (for now) bone regeneration in laboratory animals. The study concerning this advance for reconstructive surgery was published in the American journal Science Translational Medicine.

This discovery gives hope for the creation of prostheses and implants to provide treatment for healing bone and dental injuries. Plastic surgery should also be among the applications of the created bio-material.

The American researchers who carried out these experiments were able to successfully repair an injury located at the level of the spine in rats, and were also able to treat a monkey affected by a cranial malformation. The macaque had a hole in its skull, and thanks to this technology, it closed in four weeks, without any infectious drift or related side effects.

Unlike existing synthetic bone grafts, the bio-material in question is, according to the researchers, strong, elastic and also easily shaped. Above all, it is able to promote the regeneration of natural bone tissue without the need to add chemicals to it. Thus, its place in operating theaters should soon be made:

“This work represents what could be the next breakthrough in orthopaedics, craniofacial and pediatric surgery when it comes to repairing and regenerating bones” explains Ramille Shah assistant professor of materials science and surgery at Northwestern University (Illinois, USA).

(Image credit: Science Translational Medicine)

During a press conference by telephone, the specialist indicates that his team has discovered an ink formula for 3D printing, which will act as hydroxyapatite, which is none other than the mineral component of bone tissue (98 % of total concentration). The remaining 2% are, according to the researcher, composed of a binder made of polymer. This plastic proves to be bio-compatible and bio-absorbable. Thus, new bone implanted in the body of animals would quickly melt into the tissues and stimulate bone regeneration.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has individually approved the various materials used, for the purpose of medical use. The first applications should see the light of day within 5 years.

Sources: Sciences and Future – France 24

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