Home pagePress monitoringLego-inspired bioscaffolding could better heal broken bones

Lego-inspired bioscaffolding could better heal broken bones

Date: 29.7.2020 

Typically made of biocompatible polymers, so-called bioscaffolding is usually either 3D-printed in one solid piece, or injected in the form of a gel that sets into a solid.

Kredit: OHSU.In either case, once it's in place within a bone injury site, the adjacent bone cells migrate into the scaffolding, essentially "roosting" within its three-dimensional microstructure. Those cells then reproduce, gradually replacing the polymer as it harmlessly biodegrades. Eventually, all that's left is pure, natural bone.

Led by Assoc. Prof. Luiz Bertassoni, scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Oregon, New York University and Thailand's Mahidol University have taken a different approach. They've created tiny hollow 3D-printed polymer blocks (aka micro cages), that can be stacked together like Lego in order to build bioscaffolding implants of the desired shapes and sizes.

Making the implants in this fashion is considerably faster and simpler than 3D printing them in a single custom-size piece. Additionally, unlike the case with gel-based bioscaffolding, different blocks can be filled with different types of growth factors.

This means that an implant could have one type of growth factor in the blocks around its outside, for instance, and another in the blocks on the inside, in order to more accurately recreate the structure of natural bone.





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