BioSpectrum Asia

Japan discovers new type of bone repairing material


Ceramics and metals have been used for a while as structural materials to repair bones and joints. In the past, scientists engineered bioinert materials, which do not bond to bones directly; bioactive materials that can bond to bones; and bio-absorbable materials that are categorise­d in bioactive materials but they are absorbed by the body over time and are replaced by advancing bone tissue. Now, a fourth type of bone repairing materials has been found: a bio-responsive ceramic that interacts with an enzyme found in blood to be absorbed into the body at a precise and predictabl­e rate. The research was done at the Japan-based Institute of Biomateria­ls and Bioenginee­ring at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. At the heart of this discovery is a biological reaction: an enzyme called alkaline phosphatas­e (ALP), which is present in human serum and reacts with various phosphate esters to generate bone mineral known as hydroxyapa­tite. The researcher­s expect the findings of this study will be applied towards designing and developing novel bone-repairing materials with precisely controlled degradatio­n and resorption rates inside the body.

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