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Friday, June 5, 2015

Scientists using biodegradable materials to heal broken bones

Scientists at the Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh developed a biodegradable material or which can decompose naturally to help repair broken bones.

Although some broken bones can be fixed with a simple cast, fractures are more complicated, requiring metal screws, pins, blocks or plates to keep bones in place it should be.
Fractured Bones Heal With Customized Biodegradable Parts. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1KNYPfX)
According to Prashant Kumta, professor of bioengineering of the University of Pittsburgh, "With today's technology, if someone is having a severe fracture, whether as a result of war injuries such as in Iraq or Afghanistan or traffic accidents, surgeons had no other choice but to use synthetic materials, such as titanium, stainless steel or polymer material that can not decompose naturally."

This means it may be tied to such material in their lifetime. The material can be moved, but related operations can cause medical problems.
Biodegradable parts made from iron and magnesium based alloys customized with a 3-D printer. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1KNYPfX)
Kumta and his team of bachelor students seeks to avoid this problem by designing a material that is printed with a 3-D printer that is appropriate for the patient's body, and can be absorbed or released when new tissue growth and wound has healed.

In the laboratory, Kumta team has developed a mixture of magnesium and iron as the base material. He called magnesium, a mineral needed by the 300 biochemical reactions in the body, "the right partner" for such techniques.

"Mix it had mechanical character that matches the original bone, either of strength or density. The mixture had a density that is appropriate and in accordance with the original bone," he said.
Bone cells attach to 3-D-printed scaffolding. When bone completely heals the material will degrade. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1KNYPfX)
Instead of using ink, 3-D printer belongs to them using a special binder on the tape. The computer sends instructions to mix droplets of glue with mineral powder. Portions were tailor made to suit the needs, layer after layer.

"We can create original bone as the missing bone from a patient," said Kumta.

Kumta team is also currently examining the calcium phosphate putty new formula that could be injected to fill the space between the bones were broken. Plate or screws were printed by the printer 3-D and can be broken down naturally will accommodate or resist the putty material.
"The plates will provide mechanical power needed to sustain the putty, and help the healing of bone and bone formation," he said.

Pre-clinical trials are being carried out on animals. Kumta say this is a revolutionary work, and offer better results for patients. "Instead of planting a screw or plate," he said, "a doctor can provide a method of healing the patient body's ability to regenerate." *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | VOA NEWS]
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