Researchers have developed a new type of synthetic bone graft called Inductigraft that boosts the body´s ability to regenerate bone tissue and could produce better outcomes for patients.
To create the new graft, scientists led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) manipulated the pore structure of the material to mimic natural bone tissue.
“Our challenge is to develop a graft that´s as clever as bone,” explained Dr. Karin Hing, co-author of the study and Reader in Biomedical Materials at QMUL´s Institute of Bioengineering. “For this synthetic graft, we looked at the mechanics of how bone adapts to its environment and changed both the chemical and physical composition of the graft, specifically how the holes within the structure are placed and interconnected.”
Results published in the Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine show that by 8-12 weeks Inductigraft´s performance alone matched that of the new graft mixed with the clinical gold standard, called autograft, which is made up of the patients´ own bone containing living cells and growth factors.
Dr. Hing added: “This new study has real implications for anyone suffering from any sort of skeletal injury, and for surgeons in particular. At the moment the preference is to use the patients´ own tissue to create or enhance bone grafts, however our results show that Inductigraft can be just as effective, with the advantage that patient doesn´t have to undergo additional surgery to harvest the autograft.”
The scientists are now conducting further studies to examine the mechanism of action by which Inductigraft is able to guide bone formation.