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Johns Hopkins Researchers Develop 3D Printable Bones Using Real Bone Cells

by • May 8, 2016 • No Comments

Broken jaw repaired with implant made of fibula.

Broken jaw repaired with implant made of fibula.

According to Johns Hopkins researchers, each year due to birth defect, trauma or cancer, additional than 200,000 individuals can require replacement bones in their face or skull. Typically, doctors may remove a part of the patient’s fibula and try to carve it into the required shape and implant the bone back into the patient’s face. Whilst the procedure typically results in the bone regrowing and healing the injure in the face, it is not the perfect solution. Depending on the injure being corrected, the bone fragment frequently can’t be shaped to fit the face really well, which leaves the patient with worthwhile scarring. The removal of part the fibula in addition produces trauma in the patient’s leg which, when combined with the ongoing trauma in their face or skull, can be really stressful.

3dp_bonepowder_johnshopkins_logoAs detailed in a not long ago published paper of the associate professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Warren Grayson, Ph.D. has made a revolutionary recipe for effortless, 3D printable bone scaffolds. They are made with a combination of man-made, biodegradable plastics and pulverized effortless bone material. Working with this mix of ingredients, doctors may potentially 3D print replacement bones which may be implanted in the patient’s body. The 3D printed bone may encourage effortless regrowth, while slowly enabling the plastic scaffold to be effortlessly broken down and absorbed by the body. The paper detailing the 3D printable bone material was published online by ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.

Grayson and his team of researchers made a composite material which combines the durability and 3D printability of a plastic material with the biological “information” which is contained within effortless bone. They chose a biodegradable polyester material called polycaprolactone (PCL) which had may already got FDA approval for several clinical applications. PCL is a really sturdy material which has a low melting point and breaks down within of the body well. Structurally, it may be well suited as a bone replacement, yet on its own it does not encourage the regrowth of bone material really effectively. The team mixed it with a effortless “bone powder” additive which was made of pulverizing the porous internal structure of cow knees which had been stripped of its cells.

3D printed bone scaffold made of effortless bone powder and biodegradable polyester material polycaprolactone.

3D printed bone scaffold made of effortless bone powder and biodegradable polyester material polycaprolactone.

“Bone powder contains structural proteins native to the body plus pro-bone growth facts which assist immature stem cells mature into bone cells. It in addition adds roughness to the PCL, which assists the cells grip and reinforces the message of the growth facts,” Grayson says.

In order to turn it into the perfect 3D printed bone framework, Grayson experimented with several various mixtures of PCL and the bone powder. The team found which the minimum amount of bone powder which may allow the bone to work as meant was at very least 30% pulverized effortless bone mixed with 70% PCL. The maximum amount of bone powder which may be utilized was 70% mixed with 30% PCL. The team in addition attempted a mixture with 85% bone powder, yet there wasn’t adequate PCL in the mix to properly hold its shape and maintain the necessary lattice structure. Both the 30% mixture and the 70% mixture were tested by introducing them to a nutritional broth material which included fat-derived stem cells harvested of liposuction procedures.

Examples of bone regrowth on various types of bone scaffolds.

Examples of bone regrowth on various types of bone scaffolds.

Within three weeks, the cells mixed with 70% bone powder scaffolds displayed gene activity hundreds of times higher in the genes which induce bone formation when compared to cells grown on scaffolds made entirely of PCL. The 30% bone powder scaffolds offered less astounding gene activity, yet the bone cells were yet revealing signs of regrowth. When the team introduced beta-glycerophosphate to the cell material, it enabled the cell enzymes to begin depositing effortless calcium on the scaffolds. When compared to those made via pure PCL, the scaffolds made of 30% bone powder showed a 30% increase in calcium, while those made of 70% bone powder generated twice as much calcium. The team in addition experimented with implanting bone scaffolds into sizeable holes in rat skulls and found which the mice showed at very least 50% additional bone growth in the scaffolds which contained bone powder than the scaffolds made entirely of PCL.

“In the broth experiments, the 70 percent scaffold encouraged bone formation much advantageous than the 30 percent scaffold, but the 30 percent scaffold is sturdyer. Since there wasn’t a difference between the two scaffolds in healing the mouse skulls, we are investigating additional to figure out which blend is most overall,” Grayson explained.

Grayson and the rest of the Johns Hopkins research team are yet experimenting with the perfect bone powder to PCL ratio. Whilst the 70% mixture grew new bone faster, it wasn’t as sturdy or durable as the 30% mixture, so a trade off is going to have to be made. The team is in addition going to begin experiments with bone powder made of human bone, primarily for the reason it is additional commonly on the market. They in addition plan to turn it into additional effortless scaffold structures which nearer match the geometries of real bones. And the team is in addition planning tests for additives which may encourage new blood vessel growth to within the scaffolds, which is necessary for thicker bone replacements to survive.

[Source: Science Blog]