Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smart orthopedic implants and self-fitting tissue scaffolding

Date:
April 5, 2010
Source:
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Summary:
Using a nanoparticle core, medical researchers have fashioned a new type of tissue and bone scaffolding polymer that addresses a number of long-standing limitations. A new article describes the development of a class of heat-activated smart materials that combine tissue-like properties and strength that are considered clinically safe to deploy and able to integrate with surrounding tissue.

 Orthopedic surgeons are often hamstrung by less-than-ideal grafting material when performing surgeries for complex bone injuries resulting from trauma, aging or cancer. Conventional synthetic bone grafts are typically made of stiff polymers or brittle ceramics, and cannot readily conform to the complex and irregular shapes that often result from injury; in addition, they often require metallic fixation devices that require open surgeries to insert and remove. Ideally, a scaffolding graft would conform to complex shapes of an injury site, provide weight-bearing support, require less invasive surgical delivery, and ultimately disappear when no longer needed.

Using a nanoparticle core, Jie Song, PhD, assistant professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation and cell biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and postdoctoral fellow Jianwen Xu, have fashioned a new type of tissue and bone scaffolding polymer that addresses a number of these long-standing limitations. Research published in the online Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes the development of a class of heat-activated smart materials that combine tissue-like properties and strength that are clinically safe to deploy and able to integrate with surrounding tissue.

The key feature of the new polymer is its heat-activated malleability and shape memory. Using CT scans and MRI images of the injury site, Song envisions physicians creating a polymer mold of the scaffolding needed to stabilize a skeletal injury site, in the lab, prior to surgery. Heat activated at a safe 50°C, the smart polymer could then be reshaped to a more compressed form suitable for insertion in the body through a small, minimally invasive incision. Once at the injury site, the idea is to then thermally re-activate the polymer to cause it to revert to its original, pre-molded shape in seconds, according to Song.

In addition to providing mechanical stabilization to the skeletal structure, because the biodegradable material is similar to those used in dissolvable sutures, it can be safely reabsorbed by the body as it breaks down over time. Therefore, there is no need for a second surgery to remove the implant. Additionally, as the scaffolding degrades, the polymer provides a porous structure that promotes tissue growth and integration. At the same time, the polymer has the ability to deliver therapeutics to accelerate new bone growth and integration.

"Strong and resorbable smart implants could have paradigm-changing impact on a number of surgical interventions that currently rely on the use of more invasive and less effective metallic cages, fixators and stents," said Song. "From spinal fusion to alleviate chronic lower back pain, vertebroplasty for treating vertebral fractures to angioplasty for widening narrowed or obstructed blood vessels, there are tremendous clinical applications for smart polymers."

Song and colleagues are testing the safety and efficacy of the material in animal models, which they hope will pave the way for future clinical trials.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Massachusetts Medical School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Smart orthopedic implants and self-fitting tissue scaffolding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405152553.htm>.
University of Massachusetts Medical School. (2010, April 5). Smart orthopedic implants and self-fitting tissue scaffolding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405152553.htm
University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Smart orthopedic implants and self-fitting tissue scaffolding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405152553.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
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