A team of Mexican researchers from the Autonomous University of Puebla (BUAP) has come up with a revolutionary synthetic 3D printable biomaterial that is capable of mimicking our bone structure and thus, facilitate bone regeneration. This has been done in the wake of 3D printing still falling short on meeting all the criteria of a successful implant as 3D implants are generally considered to be painful during the rehabilitation stage. Although the technique is being widely used in the implant industry as 3D printed implants offer a better fit, these requires months or years for rehabilitation and material rejection by the body is also a considerable danger.
New Biomaterial will Reduce the Chances of Rejection by Body
Efrain Rubio Rosas, head of the BUAP innovation has explained that the biodegradable material used in the 3D implant has been manufactured using hydroxyapatite (a mineral found in the body) and several degradable polymers. Since, the human bone is made of some organic substances (such as proteins & collagens) and some inorganic materials (such as hydroxyapatite crystals & calcium phosphate), all of which are synthetically replicable, our body does not reject the 3D implants created using these.
Rosas further explains, “We use hydroxyapatite nanoparticles and a polymer compatible with the human body, which degrades when exposed to physiological fluids. However it supports the structure for a sufficient amount of time to facilitate natural bone growth,” The hydroxyapatite powder which is used as a bone filler, particularly facilitates bone regeneration. This ability makes it particularly suited for replacement of small portions of bone tissue.
What Benefits to Expect from 3D Printable Implants?
3D printers can be used for fabricating this biomaterial with precision control on the level of porosity. Owing to the flexibility of the technique, medical practitioners can come up with 3D implants designed to each and every patient’s specific requirements using a special algorithm. The team of Mexican researchers have already filed a patent request for the mathematical model but are currently aiming at cubic centimeter implants, in terms of volume measurement. Although, BUAP’s Faculty of Medicine is still considering to test the biocompatibility of the material, there is a lot of work to be done for the material to be able to provide the desired boost to implant development.
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