Apr. 5, 2015 | By Kira

Russian scientists have developed a biological material known as ‘bone cement’ that is derived from animal bones can be 3D printed into bone fractures, aiding the body to heal faster and eventually dissolving into the patient’s own tissue, leaving no traces behind.

The substance, developed by scientists at the Russian National Research Nuclear University, is based on biological hydroxyapatite, a white powder that transforms into a liquid, cement-like material when mixed with a biological polymer. Initially, the material is soft and flexible, like plasticine, but becomes as hard as actual bone once placed in the human body.

The highly advanced and innovative medical procedure relies on 3D printing to fill the damaged bone. “On the basis of hydoxypatite, we prepared a liquid material that we can fill a 3D printer with,” explained professor Vitaly Guzeev of the research team. He gives the example of a man with a craniocerebral injury. The injured can be 3D scanned and sent to a printer, which recreates the lost bone part. The ‘bone cement’ hardens during the 3D printing process.

Furthermore, because the substance is naturally derived from animal bones, it preserves biological activity and eventually ‘dissolves’ away without a trace. The body can therefore adapt to it without the risk of rejection, and heal much more quickly than with traditional stem cell based transfusions or titanium implants, which need to be surgically removed once the healing process is complete.

“We have created material that the organism takes as original,” said Guzeev. “The bone marrow contains mesenchymal cells that migrate to the damaged tissue areas. They detect our matter as something that can take part in biochemical processes and start processing it to enable [cell] division. Regeneration is cell division itself. As a result, a new bone tissue is produced with its own blood vessels and nerve cells.”

According to a statement, the substance was actually conceived of by accident. Originally, scientists were trying to develop a substance that, when applied to titanium prostheses, would speed up the healing process. During the development phase, however, they decided to experiment with making a material that was as strong as titanium but without iron impurities. Thus, ‘bone cement’ was born.

The applications for this new biological material are wide-ranging, from dentistry to cosmetology, and it is yet another example of how 3D printing is transforming the medical industry, enabling the human body to recover in ways that have never been possible before.

The material has already passed clinical trials in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and it will soon undergo marketing authorization in order to be approved for the medical and scientific market. 



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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alvaro wrote at 4/5/2015 7:06:53 PM:

Amazing breaktrough ! Who will be the first to print a tooth implant with biomaterials ,the Russians , the Chineses ,or...?

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