Swedish scientists have developed a modern material that can serve as a "glue" bonding two parts of a broken bone. They prove that traditional methods of stiffening broken bones and long convalescence after fractures may soon be abandoned.
For many years, dentistry knows the methods of repairing broken teeth and restoring them to aesthetic appearance. In such dental complements, various materials with adhesive properties are used. While these materials work well in dentistry, their use in other parts of the body has been problematic so far.
This is mainly due to the fact that it was impossible to develop substances that would allow sufficiently strong binding of two parts of the broken bone. Secondly, the humid interior environment of the human body can negatively affect the process of crosslinking of the material, and thus its binding to bone fragments. Thirdly, previously developed materials with adhesive properties also had a problem with biocompatibility - among them there were both toxic substances as well as those that were easily rejected by living organisms.
Swedish scholars from the KTH Royal Institute from Technology in Stockholm prove that their material, which is an analogue of materials used in dentistry, is devoid of the above-mentioned disadvantages and can be successfully used to stick fragments of broken bones.
The rat works
The method proposed by the Swedes to strengthen the bond strength of adhesive material with fragments of living bone tissue consists in the use of a three-layer structure, reminiscent of a "sandwich". The first layer is "glue", which is applied to the surface of the bone, thanks to which it can penetrate into its porous structure. Next, a layer of fibers is applied to the adhesive, which are to strengthen the adhesive strength of the "adhesive". The last, third layer is also a layer of adhesive and is also applied to a piece of bone.
The procedure of glue application, fiber filling and bone joining lasted about 5 minutes, as evidenced by the studyin vivo on rats. The material turned out to be a 55% stronger substance with adhesive properties than those used in dentistry. Scientists argue that the use of their material for the treatment of fractures was associated with a very rapid recovery. They estimate that in the case of humans, it will be possible to return to physical activity for 1-2 days after the bone-joining procedure.
The creators believe that the method they developed can in future be widely used by surgeons. That's why they created a start-up calledBiomedical Bondingthanks to which it will be possible to start clinical trials on new material faster.
Chance for patients with osteoporosis
Scholars also pay attention to the fact that their material will be the optimal solution in the case of bone fractures often suffered by people suffering from osteoporosis. This disease, according to data from 2012, affects 30% and 20% of men over 50 years of age. It is favored by genetic factors, age, light complexion, diet low in calcium and vitamin D, long-term immobilization, e.g. after an accident, and the use of certain types of drugs, including corticosteroids, some sleeping pills or thyroid hormones.
Initially, osteoporosis is asymptomatic, but the bone destruction processes prevailing in the body lead to many fractures. Some of them may even occur without pain, such as fractures of the vertebral body. The statistics are still pessimistic: every fifth osteoporotic patient after one year of fracturing the femoral neck dies. It favors this, among others necessity of long immobilization of the patient, which contributes to further disease progression.
Perhaps these un-optimistic statistics will be changed when the application of modern "glue" to the bone will reduce the recovery time to a few days.
Viktor Granskog et al.,High-Performance Thiol-Ene Composites Unveil and New Era of Adhesives. Suited for Bone Repair. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2018, 1800372.