JUN 30, 2018 03:24 PM PDT

Printable Bone Grafts may Change Therapeutics

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

To perform a bone graft, which is a transplant of bone tissue, bone from a deceased donor is used in an allograft, or from the patient’s own supply, a process called autographing. Now researchers have devised a way to use synthetic material Hyperelastic Bone™ as a commercially available orthopedic implant. It can promote the growth of tissue in the patient and integrates as the patient’s bone during the regeneration process. For many patients, it is a huge leap forward in therapeutic options. 

"Traditional orthopedic products that are made from majority ceramic-like materials are usually very brittle, while our product has very elastic properties, even though it is made almost entirely from the same ceramic that makes up bones. If you squish it, it bounces back to its original shape," explained materials scientist Ramille Shah of Northwestern University. "And 3D printing allows us to make patient-specific or patient-matched implants, as well as unique off-the-shelf products that the surgeon can easily manipulate in the operating room." 

For Shah and collaborator Adam Jakus, a materials engineer, the work also represents a great business opportunity. They have been getting many requests for their Hyperelastic Bone™ and other 3D printing materials and paints for several years. In response, they opened a company called Dimension Inx. They are now in the process of getting FDA approval for the therapeutics they want to supply to the medical community.

"The purpose of Dimension Inx is to make advanced manufacturing, including tissue and regenerative engineering, clinically and economically viable as well as accessible to researchers and industry through the introduction of new advanced materials," noted Jakus, chief technology officer of Dimension Inx. "These materials are not only highly functional, such as Hyperelastic Bone™, but are also large-scale-manufacturing and end-user friendly." 

"For the past several decades, tissue engineering as a field has been almost entirely relegated to academic laboratories, where great discoveries have been made," added Jakus, "but it is now time for innovative technologies and materials to leave the laboratory and make it into the hands of doctors and surgeons where they can be used to help those who need them most, the patients." 

Sources: AAAS/Eurekalert! Via National Science Foundation

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 03, 2018
Microbiology
NOV 03, 2018
Potential new Tuberculosis Treatment Found in Dirt
The pathogen that causes TB has been able to evolve, and often, the typical therapeutic for the illness does not work....
NOV 06, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
NOV 06, 2018
Mapping the Brain
The brain still holds many mysteries, but scientists are finding ways to learn more about how it works....
NOV 12, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
NOV 12, 2018
A New Look at Messenger RNA
Researchers have discovered that longstanding textbook knowledge about an important molecule called mRNA is probably incorrect....
NOV 17, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 17, 2018
Joubert Syndrome Model Successfully Treated with Gene-editing
A life-threatening kidney disease may be one day be a treatable condition thanks to new work by researchers, and patients with the illness....
NOV 24, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 24, 2018
How Fish can Teach us About Mending a Broken Heart
Our world hosts some incredible organisms, some of which might help people create treatments for disease....
DEC 15, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
DEC 15, 2018
Neanderthal Genes Provide Insight Into Human Brain Evolution
Neanderthal heads are almost football-shaped, while modern humans have much rounder brains and skulls....
Loading Comments...