“Bone Wool” as a Synthetic Alternative to Bone Substitute Materials
Researchers form the Institute for Chemical and Bioengineering at the ETH Zurich, in collaboration with the Zentrum für Zahnmedizin at the University of Zurich have developed a synthetic material which has the potential to revolutionize the standard of bone substituting materials. Many surgical operations to repair fractures and bone defects are performed using autografts and allografts despite their limitations in terms of availability, donor-site morbidity and potential negative immune responses.
The invention of bonewool® relates to the preparation of a new and advanced implant material consisting of a biodegradable polymer such as a PLGA with up to 40% of amorphous tricalcium phosphate (ATCP) nanoparticles incorporated into the polymer. These ATCP nanoparticles can be solely prepared by a dry, one step preparation method, so called flame spray synthesis (method details). The new composite is prepared by electrospinning, a technique, which produces open structured, ultrafine fibers. The resulting product is very flexible and easy to shape due to its cotton wool-like appearance.
Main advantages of bonewool® compared to other commercially available products are that it easy to apply, flexible, elastic, compressible. On the one hand it is fully synthetic, on the other hand it shows excellent bioactivity. Furthermore, it shows apatite deposition after 48 hours and it is asily removable if misplaced. In addition, bonewool® is combinable with other products such as growth factors and Possible incorporation of antibacterial nanoparticles, such as silver.