Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Research Make Light Work of Fixing Broken Bones

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Artificial bone, created using stem cells and a new lightweight plastic, could soon be used to heal shattered limbs.

The use of bone stem cells combined with a degradable rigid material that inserts into broken bones and encourages real bone to re-grow has been developed at the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton.

Researchers have developed the material with a honeycomb scaffold structure that allows blood to flow through it, enabling stem cells from the patient's bone marrow to attach to the material and grow new bone. Over time, the plastic slowly degrades as the implant is replaced by newly grown bone.

Scientists developed the material by blending three types of plastics. They used a pioneering technique to blend and test hundreds of combinations of plastics, to identify a blend that was robust, lightweight, and able to support bone stem cells.

Successful results have been shown in the lab and in animal testing with the focus now moving towards human clinical evaluation. The study, published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

This new discovery is the result of a seven-year partnership between the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh.

Richard Oreffo, Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Southampton, comments: "Fractures and bone loss due to trauma or disease are a significant clinical and socioeconomic problem. This collaboration between chemistry and medicine has identified unique candidate materials that support human bone stem cell growth and allow bone formation. Our collaborative strategy offers significant therapeutic implications."

Professor Mark Bradley, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Chemistry, adds: "We were able to make and look at a hundreds of candidate materials and rapidly whittle these down to one which is strong enough to replace bone and is also a suitable surface upon which to grow new bone.

"We are confident that this material could soon be helping to improve the quality of life for patients with severe bone injuries, and will help maintain the health of an ageing population."

Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,100+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Parkinson’s Test Could Aid Early Detection
A test that can detect Parkinson’s disease in the early stages of the illness has moved a step closer.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Coffee Consumption Linked to Genes
Researchers have identified a gene that influences coffee consumption. The gene is thought to relate to caffeine breakdown.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Effects of Chemotherapy on Developing Ovaries in Female Fetuses
Researchers at University of Edinburgh have shown that etoposide can damage the development of the ovaries while a fetus is in the womb.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Detecting Hazardous Chemicals in Complex Mixtures
Researchers are pioneering a new chemical substance analyis software technique that could increase illicit substance detection.
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Flowers Arrange Themselves for Bees
Study suggests plants can maximise their chances of reproduction by taking advantage of how insects move when they gather nectar.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Safe CO2 Storage Viable Following Tests
Successful trials in Australia have led to the discovery of an inexpensive method of stored CO2 monitoring underground.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
DNA Production Facility Begins Operation
Scientists mark the opening of the UK's first fully automated DNA construction and modification facility.
Friday, July 08, 2016
Breast Cancer Drug Hope
A drug for breast cancer that is more effective than existing medicines may be a step closer thanks to new research.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Salt Gene Could Help Cut Heart Disease
Scientists from the University of Edinburgh find that removal of a gene linked with high blood pressure causes a strong appetite for salt.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
University of Edinburgh, Selcia Achieve Key Milestones in Drug Development Program
Scientists from the University of Edinburgh, working with Selcia, have successfully passed the 20-month milestone targets of a 30-month Wellcome Trust SDDi £2.5 million project to design novel treatments for sleeping sickness.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Garlic Could Aid Cystic Fibrosis Fight
A chemical in garlic kills bacteria that cause deadly infections in people with cystic fibrosis, University of Edinburgh research shows.
Monday, March 02, 2015
Bowel Disease Gene Discovery
Genetic changes that occur in patients with the bowel condition Crohn’s disease could hold clues to fighting the illness.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Risk of Brain Injury is Genetic
Link between injury to the developing brain and common variation in genes identified.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
University of Edinburgh Invests £1.2M in NMR and Mass Spectroscopy Instrumentation
‘Instantaneous’ turnover of samples will benefit research efforts.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Why Stem Cells Need to Stick with their Friends
Scientists have identified a core set of functionally relevant factors which regulates embryonic stem cells’ ability for self-renewal.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Scientific News
Integrated Omics Analysis
Studying multi-omics promises to give a more holistic picture of the organism and its place in its ecosystem, however despite the complexities involved those within the field are optimistic.
Unravelling the Role of Key Genes and DNA Methylation in Blood Cell Malignancies
Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have demonstrated the role of Dnmt3a in safeguarding normal haematopoiesis.
Salford Lung Study - The First Real World Clinical Trial
In this podcast, we learn about the Salford Lung Study and its potential to revolutionize the way we assess new drugs and treatments around the world.
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
RNA-Binding Proteins Role in ALS Revealed
Researchers describe how damage to RNA-binding protein contributes to ALS, isolating a possible therapeutic target.
Illumina Contributes to ClinVar Database
The contribution includes variants of all classifications, from pathogenic to benign, identified during interpretation of whole genome sequences generated in the CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory.
Structure of Primary Cannabinoid Receptor is Revealed
The findings provide key insights into how natural and synthetic cannabinoids including tetrahydrocannabinol —a primary chemical in marijuana—bind at the CB1 receptor to produce their effects.
Overlooked Molecules Could Revolutionise our Understanding of the Immune System
Researchers have discovered that around one third of all the epitopes displayed for scanning by the immune system are a type known as ‘spliced’ epitopes.
Study Finds Key Regulator in Pulmonary Fibrosis
Researchers identify an enzyme that could open the way to therpies for chronic fatal lung disease.
Signaling Pathway Could Be Key to Improved Osteoporosis Treatment
Inhibition of SIK2 enzyme both stimulates bone formation and reduces bone breakdown in animal model.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,100+ scientific videos