Bone healing made easy using new bone-forming biomaterial

January 6, 2020

Mishaps are common in daily life, so when it comes to bone injuries incurred scientists have developed a bone-forming protein that, when used in combination with anticoagulants, helps with localised bone formation. Bioengineer Marian H. Hettiaratchi and others at the University of Oregon (UO), US, have combined a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), an alginate gel and the medically-approved anticoagulant heparin to produce a new biomaterial with enhanced “substance and staying-power” for effective bone repair.

According to Hettiaratchi, “the problem” with healing large bone defects is that the BMP delivered using biodegradable collagen sponges easily “leaks out” of the material, resulting in abnormal bone formation  – new bone can grow right at the injury site and also within the surrounding soft tissue.

“Our new material retains much more of the BMP – you don’t get bone formation outside the targeted area.”

In lab tests, injured rats were observed to have up to 50% less “abnormal ossification” (unwanted bone growth) when using the modified biomaterial instead of the BMP-in-a-sponge. Using their lab results, the team is currently designing and testing a synthetic alternative, specifically for use with BMP on bone injuries.


Category: Education, Features

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