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New synthetic bone graft can guide tissue repair

A new type of synthetic bone graft has been developed that helps boost the natural rebuilding of bone tissue by the body faster than ever before.

Called Inductigraft and formulated at the Queen Mary University of London, the graft demonstrated that it could guide the regeneration of bone tissue in as little as four weeks, at least matching the best graft techniques used today. This has been achieved by manipulating the structure of the graft to mimic that of natural bone tissue.

“Our challenge is to develop a graft that’s as clever as bone. For this synthetic graft, we looked at the mechanics of how bone adapts to its environment and changed both the chemical and physical composition of the graft, specifically how the holes within the structure are placed and interconnected,” says Dr Karin Hing, a co-author of the study and Reader in Biomedical Materials at QMUL’s Institute of Bioengineering.

“This new study has real implications for anyone suffering from any sort of skeletal injury, and for surgeons in particular” says Dr Hing.

At the moment the clinical gold standard for grafts is the autograft, where the source of the graft tissue is the patients themselves. This helps to avoid the natural immune response of the body, which normally results in the rejection of the graft.

However this requires additional surgery to harvest the tissue to be used, which can be avoided using the synthetic Inductigraft. Doing so takes a lot of strain of the patient’s body and will help in producing better outcomes for patients.

Continued research into the exact mechanisms of Inductigraft is taking place at QMUL with the hope that it will lead the next generation in bone graft technology.

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