According tomedia reports, we are increasingly hearing scaffolding-like materials to help treat bone injuries. A new biosor is said to be particularly versatile because it was inspired by Lego bricks. The so-called biosor is usually made of biocompatible polymers, which are 3D printed into a solid or injected into a solid in the form of a gel.
In either case, once it is in place at the site of bone damage, adjacent bone cells migrate to the stent, essentially “perching” in their three-dimensional microstructure. These cells then multiply and gradually replace them during the polymer-innocuous biodegradation process. In the end, all that’s left is the all-natural bones.
Led by Professor Assoc.Luiz Bertassoni, scientists at Oregon Health and Science University, New York University and Mahidou University in Thailand took a different approach. They created tiny hollow 3D-printed polymer blocks, also known as miniature cages, that can be stacked like Lego to build the desired shape and size of biostent implants.
Making implants in this way is much faster and much simpler than 3D printing of a single custom-sized piece. In addition, unlike gel-type biostents, different blocks can fill different types of growth factors. This means, for example, that an implant can add one type of growth factor to a block around its outside, and another type of growth factor in the inner block to more accurately reproduce the structure of the natural bone.
“3D-printed miniature cages fill the ingredients exactly where you want them and then stack them like Lego bricks to create the required three-dimensional distribution of the configuration and composition,” says Bertassoni. “Thus, this creates a guiding scaffold that allows cells to be accurately guided to the location of interest. This is important because one of the big bottlenecks in the field is, for example, the intake of blood vessels at the core of the regenerative tissue before more tissue is formed. “
In fact, laboratory tests on bone-injured rats found that implants made of this block stimulate blood vessel growth by about three times as much as conventional biostent materials.
The researchers hope that once the technology is further developed, it could also be used for the regeneration of soft tissue at the injured site, and even the creation of complete organs for transplantation.
The paper on the study was published this week in the journal Advanced Materials.