Researchers in France have developed a self-setting foam that can repair defects in bones and assist growth. Eventually, this advanced biomaterial could be used to quickly regenerate bone growth and treat degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.
Injectable calcium phosphate cements (CPCs) have been around for nearly a hundred years, and they’re frequently used in orthopedics and traumathology as bone substitutes during surgery. These biomaterials allow surgeons to fix and harden defective bones “in situ” with relative ease and flexibility. What’s more, they’re biocompatible, self-setting, and non-toxic.
But as James Urquhart reports at Chemistry World, scientists haven’t been able to introduce macroporosity into these materials, which means these injectable cements don’t have pores, or cavities, larger than 50 nanometers. This makes it difficult to treat bone degeneration, or to strengthencancellous bone—a porous, flexible and spongy tissue that gets progressively weaker once osteoporosis sets in.
Now, Pierre Weiss and his colleagues at the University of Nantes have achieved an important breakthrough in this area. By applying a sophisticated hydrogen as a foaming agent to create air bubbles in the mixture, the researchers have created an effective macroporous, self-setting CPC. The results of their work appears in the latest edition of Acta Biomaterialia.
Via Gust MEES, CineversityTV, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald