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New 3D-Printed Hyperelastic Bones Might Be The Future Of Bone Replacement

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New 3D-Printed Hyperelastic Bones Might Be The Future Of Bone Replacement

One of the intellectual appeals of 3D printing is the potential encapsulated by the technology, particularly within medicine — from organ transplants to bone regeneration. And, it seems like this utopia is closer than ever. Researchers at Northwestern University – Evanston, in Illinois, have created a “hyperelastic bone” that can be printed on-demand and has already shown very encouraging signs of effectiveness — although it is not ready to be implanted in humans yet.

Right now, there are two widely used techniques for bone replacement: taking a piece of bone from another part of the body and implanting it where needed, or using a scaffold that stem cells then use to generate new bones around. However, both methods have their limitations, an article published on Science Mag explicated.

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The new hyperelastic bone is a particular kind of scaffold made from hydroxyapatite, “a naturally occurring mineral that exists in our bones and teeth, and a biocompatible polymer called polycaprolactone, and a solvent. Hydroxyapatite provides strength and offers chemical cues to stem cells to create bone. The polycaprolactone polymer adds flexibility, and the solvent sticks the 3D-printed layers together as it evaporates during printing,” the article’s author, Jessica Boddy, continued.

Interestingly, the new hyperelastic bone is not only customizable, effective, efficient and easy to produce, it’s also cheap. The materials needed are frequently used in biomedical engineering labs, biomaterials engineer Jos Malda (not related to the study) expounded.

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Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.

Posted-In: 3D 3d printed bone 3D PrintingBiotech News Health Care Tech General Best of Benzinga

 

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