Glass Transplant for Bones

Glass Transplant for Bones

Author: Lisa-Marie Rauschendorfer

The repair of large segmental bone defects requires the bridging of the defect in order to enable bone healing. The conventional procedure is based on autologous bone graft (ABG), meaning the transplantation of bone from another part of the body. Drawbacks are the limited supply and the donor-site morbidity.

Weitao Jia, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China, and colleagues used bioactive glasses of silicate 13-93 and borosilicate 2B6Sr compositions as scaffold material, which is fabricated into 3D constructs using a direct ink writing technique. The resulting 3D structure consists of uniform cylindrical glass struts and interconnected pores. The glass shows mechanical strength comparable to that of human cortical bone.

The team showed that an implantation in segmental bone defects in rabbits can repair bone just as efficiently as the standard procedure AGB. The structure of the glass not only shows excellent osteoinductive and osteogenic properties, it also supports the growth of blood vessels, which are pivotal for bone formation as they supply growing cells with oxygen and nutrients.


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