When Swedish scientists recently set out to create a rigid bone replacement material, they inadvertently created a soft, rubbery substance,media New Atlas reported. And this substance may eventually be more useful than bone substitutes. Developed by a team at Chalmers Polytechnic University, this biocompatible material is similar in composition to plexiglass, which has been used in a variety of medical applications. However, unlike plexiglass, it is very soft, flexible and elastic, and is full of three-dimensional networks of 3D holes.
Those nanopores can be loaded with drugs, which gradually dissipate from the material. This means that a piece of material containing the drug can be implanted into the body to precisely deliver the drug to where it is needed, thereby minimizing the side effects of oral ingress and the higher dose.
In addition, it can be used to replace cartilage or other soft tissue in the body. This may require 3D printing of replacement parts in advance and then implanting them through traditional surgical methods. Since the material is initially a viscous fluid, it can also be injected into the target area through a small opening – and then, once inside, it will be rubbery.
The first use of the material by scientists was recommended by scientists as a catheter for anti-infection use. Their surfaces will be covered with a protein called peptides, which kill harmful bacteria during contact. The technology is being commercialized by the derivative supra a.
The paper on the study, led by Professor Martin Andersson and doctoral student Anand Kumar Rajasekharan, was recently published in the journal ACS Nano.