A new technology for implants that may improve construction or repair of bones in the face, skull and jaw, has been developed by researchers from the American Dental Association Foundation (ADAF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Described in recent and upcoming journal articles,* the new technology provides a method for making scaffolds for bone tissue. The scaffold is seeded with a patient’s own cells and is formed with a cement paste made of minerals also found in natural bone. The paste is mixed with beads of a natural polymer (made from seaweed) filled with bone cells. The paste is shaped or injected into a bone cavity and then allowed to harden with the encapsulated cells dispersed throughout the structure. The natural polymer beads gradually dissolve when exposed to the body’s fluids, creating a scaffold that is filled by the now released bone cells.
The cement, a calcium phosphate material, is strengthened by adding chitosan, a biopolymer extracted from crustacean shells. The implant is further reinforced to about the same strength as spongy natural bone by covering it with several layers of a biodegradable fiber mesh already used in clinical practice.
"Bone cells are very smart," says Hockin Xu, of the ADAF and principal investigator for the project. "They can tell the difference between materials that are bioactive compared to bioinert polymers. Our material is designed to be similar to mineral in bone so that cells readily attach to the scaffold." The researchers used mouse bone cells in their experiments, but in practice surgeons would use cells cultured from patient samples. In addition to creating pores in the hardened cement, the natural polymer beads protect the cells during the 30 minutes required for the cement to harden. Future experiments will develop methods for improving the material’s mechanical properties by using smaller encapsulating beads that biodegrade at a predictable rate.
NIST and the American Dental Association Foundation have conducted cooperative research on dental and medical materials since 1928. ADAF researchers focus on development of new dental materials, while NIST specializes in the development of improved technologies and methods for measuring materials properties.
Gail Porter | EurekAlert!
New insight into the brain’s hidden depths: Jena scientists develop minimally-invasive endoscope
27.11.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien e. V.
New China and US studies back use of pulse oximeters for assessing blood pressure
21.11.2018 | University of British Columbia
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine
12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine