American Dental Association Foundation (ADAF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new technology for implants that will enhance the construction or repair of bones in the face, skull and jaw.
The novel technology will enable a method for making scaffolds for bone tissue. The scaffold is seeded with a patient's own cells and is made from a cement paste consisting of minerals, available in natural bone. The paste is then injected into a bone cavity and then allowed to solidify. The natural polymer beads slowly disintegrate and mix, creating a scaffold that is filled by the recently released bone cells.
"Bone cells are very smart," says Hockin Xu, of the ADAF and principal investigator for the project. "They can tell the difference between materials that are bioactive compared to bioinert polymers. Our material is designed to be similar to mineral in bone so that cells readily attach to the scaffold." properties.