Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Material Could "Revolutionize" Treatment Of Broken Bones

Date:
August 25, 2000
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
A new material that could speed the healing of severely fractured bones and reduce the need for invasive surgery was described recently at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Polymer speeds healing, reduces need for invasive surgery

Related Articles


Washington D.C., August 24 -- A new material that could speed the healing of severely fractured bones and reduce the need for invasive surgery was described here today at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The material - a polymer with the consistency of putty - could replace the cements and metal devices now used internally to hold broken bones together, says the study's principal researcher Amy Burkoth, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She carried out her research under the guidance of Kristi Anseth, Ph.D., a professor of chemical engineering at the university.

The polymer could "revolutionize" the way bone injuries are treated, Burkoth says.

Currently, an external cast is used to hold broken bones in place. To treat more serious fractures, metal pins, plates and screws are surgically inserted inside the body. But these devices "shield the injured bone and prevent complete healing, and often require a second surgery for removal," says Burkoth. Ideally, a material would have the strength of metal and serve as a temporary scaffold that dissolves as the bone heals, she says.

The biodegradable materials now in use fall far short of this ideal. Over time they soften, deteriorating into gelatinous globs that lack the strength needed to hold fractured bones together.

The new polymer dissolves from the surface inward, so it retains its strength much longer. Moreover, it can be tailored to degrade over a period of several days to more than a year, depending on the type of injury.

"The material is designed to degrade like a bar of soap," says Burkoth, "and we can tailor the degradation rate so it can exactly match the bone's healing rate. This allows for a gradual transfer of the load from the degrading polymer to the healing bone."

Another advantage of the polymer is that it can be molded right on the bone defect, which makes it easier for surgeons to use. To harden it in place, an intense light is applied, causing cross-links between individual molecules to form and stiffen the polymer.

Burkoth cautions that some problems still must be resolved. For example, when the polymer is applied thickly, the light may harden the surface but not the interior all the way through. To address this, the group is testing the use of light in conjunction with other types of reactions.

The paper on this research, PMSE 288, will be presented at 11:15 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 24, at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Grand Ballroom, Salon III.

Amy Burkoth is a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

A nonprofit organization with a membership of 161,000 chemists and chemical engineers, the American Chemical Society publishes scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences, and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New Material Could "Revolutionize" Treatment Of Broken Bones." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000825082819.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2000, August 25). New Material Could "Revolutionize" Treatment Of Broken Bones. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000825082819.htm
American Chemical Society. "New Material Could "Revolutionize" Treatment Of Broken Bones." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000825082819.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins