Biomedical startup company Biomė, founded by Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) researchers, is offering a synthetic bone equivalent used for bone restoration operations in odontology. The bone equivalent Cell'in, created by Lithuanian researchers, is made from cellulose/hydroxyapatite composite. The analogical products in global market are usually created on the basis of synthetic polymers.
The bone equivalent was created by collaborating groups of researchers at KTU, headed by Professor Jolanta Liesienė (Faculty of Chemical Technology) and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU), headed by Professor Gintaras Juodžbalis (Face and Jaw Surgery Clinic).
"The innovative bone equivalent is being created from natural polymer, i.e. cellulose. As in human body there is no cellulase, which helps to decompose cellulose, it degrades very slowly, but after some time is being resorbed. Cellulose is non-cytotoxic, biologically compatible and provides friendly environment for cell absorption and multiplication. The porosity of the implant enables the circulation of nutrients and metabolites," said Professor Liesienė.
This means that the Cell'in bone implant would stay in place sufficiently long, so as blood vessels network can form and the bone can regrow in the place of a fraction. However, in time it will dissipate without leaving any toxic waste. Moreover, the structure of the artificial bone is completely compatible with the morphology of human bone.
Cell'in implant is an efficient solution in reducing time and price of complex dental implant surgery procedures.
Commercialised by Biomė
The invention is being commercialised by a startup Biomė, which was established with the funding from Lithuanian Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA).
Biomė offers an innovative approach towards production of bone equivalents: they are being produced in 3D blocks, which can be cut and shaped by a surgeon into a required size and form. Thus, the implant can fill in the whole fracture in the bone, and its macroporous matrix allows the formation of blood vessel network, which enables the growth of natural bone. After the implant dissipates, its place will be taken by a newly grown natural bone.
Established in 2014, Biomė made it to TiE50 TOP Startup 2015, and was recognised as one of 50 most enterprising technology startups in the world. Every year 5 thousands of startups apply for competition from all over the world.
"To the best of our knowledge, we are the first biomedical technologies enterprise from Lithuania, which made it to the list. Now, one of our strategic tasks is finding international partners. For a small and dynamic enterprise, such partnerships are crucial," said Kristina Liesė, director of Biomė.
Although the main Biomė's project is commercialising of cellulose/hydroxyapatite composite bone, the enterprise is developing a number or other projects.
Bone restoration is the second most popular tissue transplant surgery, after bone marrow transplantation. The high demand for bone equivalent, which is used for these surgery operations, is constantly increasing.
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