Now 3D-printed bone implant that dissolves in body

Moscow: Scientists have developed a new type of 3D-printed polymeric bone implant with increased survival rate in body, as well as the ability to organically degrade and thus subsequently be replaced by natural bone tissues.

Researchers at National University of Science and Technology (NUST) MISIS in Moscow, developed the implant with shape memory that can be used without fittings and blocking devices during surgery.

One of the new implant’s characteristics is increased implant survival rate in body tissues, and the ability to organically degrade and thus be replaced by natural bone tissues, researchers said.

“Young scientists from the Centre of Composite Materials at NUST MISIS have created the prototype of a new polymeric implant which is coarctate, so shielded from the mechanical impact of surgery, and it ‘unfolds’ at a certain temperature during the surgery,” said Alevtina Chernikova from NUST MISIS.

“Therefore, the implant can be printed on a 3D printer at the selected dimensions, compressed twice in protective, biodegradable shelling, heated during the surgery and eventually become securely fixed into the renovated area of bone tissue without using metal blocking devices and fasteners traditionally used in transplantology,” said Chernikova.

“We have successfully applied the shape memory effect in a polymeric composite material based on polylactide, which is a polylactic acid,” said Fedor Senatov, head of the project.

“A porous sample made from the composite is capable of compressing twice, and then returning to its original shape. In addition to that, the material is biocompatible: it dissolves in the body without doing any damage,” said Senatov.

“We have developed a technology stacking multi-potent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), a bioengineering structure isolated from a patient’s bone marrow, which stimulates the formation of blood vessels and tissue inside the implant, thus optimising the process of survival and increasing the efficiency of transplantation,” Senatov said.

The implant has task geometry and high porosity and does not require additional treatment. It is tightly fixed in bone defects and owing to the material’s properties and the use of patient’s own cells it is smoothly replaced by organic tissue.

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