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

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 July 22, 2014 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 July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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