Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bioglass helping to mend bones

Date:
April 2, 2013
Source:
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Summary:
Researchers at the University of the Basque Country have been studying new materials or implants that are of interest in medicine and in helping to mend bones, in particular. They have in fact measured the effect that the bioglass has on the thermal degradation of polymers currently used in medicine.

Implants made of biodegradable polymers. Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Faculty of Technical Engineering in Bilbao (UPV/EHU).

Jose Ramon Sarasua and Aitor Larraρaga, researchers in the materials engineering department of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, have been studying new materials or implants that are of interest in medicine and in helping to mend bones, in particular. They have in fact measured the effect that the bioglass has on the thermal degradation of polymers currently used in medicine. The results have been published in the journal Polymer Degradation and Stability.

Bones are capable of regenerating themselves if they suffer slight damage. But if the damage is above a certain degree, bone lacks the capability of mending itself. When breaks are too big, bones need to be helped. Even today, metal nails or other components are often inserted to help these breaks to mend. So, once the bone has mended, a second operation has to be performed to extract these components. The aim of these new materials or implants is, among other things, to obviate the need for the second operation.

These materials or implants that are of interest in medicine have to meet a number of requirements before they can be used in therapeutic applications. Among other things, the materials have to be biocompatible, in other words, they must not damage the cells or the organism itself. At the same time, being biodegradable is also a very interesting property, so that the body will easily convert them into metabolic products that are not toxic. But other factors also have to be taken into consideration: mechanical robustness and the straightforward nature of the production process, for example.

Tailor-made materials

With all this in mind, the UPV/EHU researchers are synthesising and shaping tailor-made bioimplants. The main component, on the whole, tends to be a biodegradable polymer, in other words, one that will gradually disappear as the bone occupies its own place. As the polymer is too soft, bioglass was added to the polymer in this piece of work. Bioglass is a bioactive agent and helps the bone to regenerate; what is more, it gives the polymer tough mechanical properties. So the biodegradable polymer/bioglass composite system is stiffer and tougher than the polymer alone.

These composite systems can be manufactured by means of thermoplastic processes that use heat, and therefore it is important to study how these materials respond to heat. In this work, the biodegradable polymer/bioglass composite systems were found to have a lower thermal stability compared with the systems without bioglass. In fact, a reaction occurs between the silicon oxide ions of the bioglass and the carbonyl groups in the polymers' structure, and so the material degrades and adversely affects the properties of the end product, and what is more, when the implant is grafted into the body, it encourages the formation of bi-products that may be harmful for the cells. This would greatly restrict the application of these systems in medicine. That is why the UPV/EHU researchers are doing a lot of research to improve the thermal stability of these systems, and they have in fact published one of these pieces of work in the journal Polymer Degradation and Stability. In this case, they are proposing that a chemical transformation of the bioglass surface be made by means of plasma. So by creating protective layers for the bioglass particles, the reaction to the polymer is prevented and so the final product remains undamaged.

So "these composites that have a biodegradable polymer base are candidates with a bright future in mending broken bones or in regenerating bone defects," says Professor Sarasua. In fact, after the material has temporarily substituted the bone and encouraged it to regenerate, it gradually disappears as the bone returns to its proper place. So, "this obviates the need for the second operations required nowadays to remove nails and other parts that are inserted in order to somehow support the bones in major breaks above a critical size, with all the advantages that has from a whole range of perspectives," he added.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Larraρaga, Jose-Ramon Sarasua. Effect of bioactive glass particles on the thermal degradation behaviour of medical polyesters. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 2013; 98 (3): 751 DOI: 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2012.12.015

Cite This Page:

Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Bioglass helping to mend bones." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402091648.htm>.
Elhuyar Fundazioa. (2013, April 2). Bioglass helping to mend bones. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402091648.htm
Elhuyar Fundazioa. "Bioglass helping to mend bones." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130402091648.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) — Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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