3D-Printed Hyperelastic Bone Is Like Duct Tape For Bone Surgeons

3064297-poster-1280-hyperelastic-3d-boneHyperelastic bone is a new artificial biomaterial that can be 3D-printed and implanted into the body, where it will eventually be replaced by real bone. It’s flexible and has a shelf-life of around a year, but even better it’s dead easy to use and doesn’t typically cause rejection by the host body.

HB, as it is known, is made from a mixture of hydroxyapatite—the main component of teeth and bones—and a polymer. The mixture can be 3D-printed into any shape, and comes out flexible, letting surgeons squeeze it into gaps between bones for a perfect fit. The resulting lattice works as a scaffold onto which your own bone will grow, eventually replacing the HB. The biggest advantage of a scaffold is that you can fashion bones where none currently exist, replacing bones where the original has been destroyed beyond repair, for example.

The researchers, who detail the new material in a study published in Science Translational Medicine, have had surprise success with the material just by adding human stem cells. The material is porous, which allows blood vessels to grow. The stem cells flourished, filling up the space in the scaffold, and then they started to produce natural bone by themselves.

By Charlie Sorrel | Fast Company

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About Peter Coffaro 1428 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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