Hyperelastic Bone Implant: The Future Of Reconstructive Surgery

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Surgeons have recently created hyperelastic bone, a new material that may help in the field of reconstructive surgery. This 3D-printed bone can be applied as an implant under the gums, as a compound for the new bone which will grow on it. It could also be used to replace bones altogether.

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Though the method is not yet tested in humans, scientists strongly believe that this is a groundbreaking breakthrough in the field of reconstructive surgery. Animal test subjects’ results confirmed that this can be a source of new bone growth. Making an artificial bone material has been displayed to stimulate new bone growth when implanted in the spines of rats and a monkey’s skull, experts said Wednesday.

Human tests using the biomaterial, called Hyper-Elastic Bone (HB), may begin it’s testing in the next five years, according to the research team from Northwestern University.”We knew this material had great mechanical properties and it was very easy and rapid to 3D print,” said study author Adam Jakus, a researcher at Northwestern University, during a conference call with reporters.

“Its biological effects in the outcomes we observed directly were quite astounding.”The material is made mostly of a ceramic, which contains mineral found in teeth and bones; and polymer, both of which are used in the clinic,” as stated in Science Translational Medicine.

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Unlike bone transplant, which is costlier, more brittle, and puts greater risk of being incompatible with patient’s body, the biomaterial could be printed into many shapes and cut, folded, and sutured to fit on demand, according to the report. “When implanted into experimental animals, HB quickly integrated with the surrounding tissue, regenerating bone to promote spinal fusion in rats,” said the study.

“There’s a lot of pediatric patients who are born, especially in Third World countries, with orthopedic or maxillofacial defects,” said Shah. This medical breakthrough will certainly leave a life-changing impact in the lives of many.

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