Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Synthetic FlexBone could help speed bone transplant recovery

Date:
October 25, 2010
Source:
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Summary:
With a failure rate as high as 50 percent, bone tissue grafts pose a significant obstacle to orthopedic surgeons attempting to repair complex fractures. Current synthetic substitutes rarely possess the bone-like properties needed for successful grafting and are often difficult for surgeons to manipulate in the operating room. In response to these challenges, researchers have developed a synthetic bone material called FlexBone.

With a failure rate as high as 50 percent, bone tissue grafts pose a significant obstacle to orthopedic surgeons attempting to repair complex fractures or large areas of bone loss, such as those often caused by trauma and cancer. Current synthetic substitutes rarely possess the bone-like properties needed for successful grafting and are often difficult for surgeons to manipulate in the operating room. In response to these challenges, researchers at UMass Medical School have developed an easy-to-produce, inexpensive, synthetic bone material called FlexBone.

Related Articles


Building upon previous development of a material that combines a key mineral found in bone (nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite) with a hydrogel similar to that used in contact lenses, Jie Song, PhD, assistant professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation and cell biology, and a team of graduate students and orthopedic surgeons, along with their collaborators at the University of Michigan, have created a bone substitute that can be press-fit into a bony lesion.

"Functionally sophisticated synthetic materials don't have to be complicated to manufacture or difficult to reproduce," said Dr. Song. "Our idea was to create an inexpensive, off-the-shelf product that can be easily manipulated in the operating room to fill large bone voids and facilitate the tissue repair." Research published online ahead of print in Tissue Engineering Part A describes the efficacy of the FlexBone as a synthetic bone substitute in repairing large bone defects in animal models.

In large, complex bone voids caused by trauma or tumor removal, stabilization with traditional metal plates and other internal and external fixation devices often isn't enough to facilitate healing. In many cases, surgeons turn to bone tissue grafts to bridge the gap left by the break, transplanting bone from another donor. Complications from infection, immune response or incomplete union between the transplanted and host tissue, however, result in almost 50 percent of these procedures failing. Synthetic substitutes, meanwhile, do not have the necessary bone-like properties to make them an ideal alternative.

David Ayers, MD, the Arthur M. Pappas, MD, Chair in Orthopedics and chair and professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation said, "FlexBone has a bone mineral content approaching that of human bone, enabling the elastic FlexBone material to be cut and shaped prior to surgery or intraoperatively and then pressed into a bone gap. When used in conjunction with traditional fixation techniques, the FlexBone material provides ideal scaffolding for new bone growth."

The density of the FlexBone material also allows surgeons to pre-drill channels in it, allowing for bone marrow from adjacent bone to migrate and penetrate. This helps to attract progenitor cells that are critical to new bone formation.

Beyond the benefits of its physical properties, FlexBone has also proved to be an ideal material for speeding recovery. "What makes FlexBone so ideal for healing large bone gaps is that it absorbs and retains the proteins associated with the natural healing process from the surrounding tissue once implanted," said Song. "This helps accelerate healing." Conversely, it can also be loaded with therapeutic agents, such as protein factors and antibiotics that can facilitate faster healing and fight infection through localized and controlled delivery over a sustained period of time.

"Because of this combination of factors, our study shows that FlexBone, combined with a protein growth factor in a dose 100 times less than what currently needed, was able to heal a large, long bone defect that would not heal on its own in a short period of time," said Song. "This material has enormous potential to solve a major problem that orthopedic surgeons face when reconstructing large bone deficits in the skeleton."

"Its ability to deliver growth factors and antibiotics to the patient and the handling characteristics simplifying the surgical procedure combine to make this material very exciting," said Dr. Ayers.

Song and Ayers would like to next test the safety and efficacy of the material in large animals, 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. The original article was written by Jim Fessenden, UMass Medical School Communications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tera M. Filion, Xinning Li, April Mason-Savas, Jaclynn M. Kreider, Steven A. Goldstein, David C. Ayers, Jie Song. Elastomeric Osteoconductive Synthetic Scaffolds with Acquired Osteoinductivity Expedite the Repair of Critical Femoral Defects in Rats. Tissue Engineering Part A, 2010; 101021045444064 DOI: 10.1089/ten.tea.2010.0274

Cite This Page:

University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Synthetic FlexBone could help speed bone transplant recovery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101022123755.htm>.
University of Massachusetts Medical School. (2010, October 25). Synthetic FlexBone could help speed bone transplant recovery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101022123755.htm
University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Synthetic FlexBone could help speed bone transplant recovery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101022123755.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 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:

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