In a breakthrough development, researchers at King’s College London have developed a new material for bone fractures. The material allows transfer of bone-forming stem cells for serious bone fractures and speeds up the recovery process. The study published in Nature Materials describes how stem cells and mature bone cells if grown on a biomaterial simulates parts of the healthy bone.
Physically, the biomaterial, akin to a bandage, is layered in a protein that is used throughout the body for growth and repair. The bandage like biomaterial, can be applied on the fracture like a plaster and improve the bone’s natural ability to heal, thus speeding up the repair process.
Meanwhile, the process can be accelerated even more by growing bone stem cells. These bone stem cells produce bone cells in a 3D gel on the bandage and transfer this bone-like bandage into the fracture.
New Material to speed up Recovery time drastically
The breakthrough could lead to drastic difference healing times of patients with severe bone fractures. In the event of a serious fracture, the healing process can be slow or can even fail for elderly individuals or those with other health conditions.
Meanwhile, the use of synthetic implants or donor tissue are current methods used to repair bone. The method involves taking bone from some other part of the body to repair the damage. This method banks on the body’s own power to heal, which can be negatively affected after serious injury.
Among a slew of therapies, cell-based ones have thus far appeared promising. It involves growing additional cells and introduced into the fracture. However, in existing technologies, the implanted cells mostly perish and lack long term support for the healing bone. On the other hand, use of new bandage like material supports survival and ability of extra stem cells during the healing process.