SQI researchers break new ground in bone regeneration
3D-printed bone implants are one step closer to becoming a reality, thanks to the groundbreaking research of the Shah TEAM Lab and the Hsu Lab at the Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology.
Earlier this month, Dr. Ramille Shah, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Surgery, and Biomedical Engineering and Adam E. Jakus, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology announced the successful development of a new type of ink that can be used to print "hyper-elastic" bone replacements. The biomaterial is a mix of hydroxyapatite and a biocompatible, biodegradable polymer that is used in many medical applications, including sutures. Initial animal tests look promising; after just four weeks, an implant placed in a monkey's skull had fully healed, fusing with the existing bone, and those placed in mice were rapidly integrated by the rest of the body, allowing blood vessels and cells to grow on and through them.
The material's composition makes the synthetic bone easily customizable and quick and inexpensive to produce, which could significantly impact the treatment of bone defects in children and in people living in developing nations around the world. "It's purely synthetic, very cheap and very easy to make," Adam Jakus said, speaking to Reuters. "It can be packaged, shipped and stored very nicely." According to Dr. Shah, "The sky's the limit for this material's applications."