When you were a child, did you ever sign up for a classmate if he broke an arm or a leg? Wore them for the portfolio? Broken bone for a child — very bad: a few catastrophic seconds, followed by months of boring rest and recovery. But have children in the future may be a different story, because new technology will allow us to rethink how we restore broken bones.
Carbon nanomaterials may have the ability to heal bones faster than Harry Potter with the spell “kostium silicium”. Researchers from the team of Stephanie Sydlik from the University Carnegie Mellon has tested the new composition of the graphene, which is biodegradable, imitates the bone, attracts stem cells and, ultimately, improve the recovery of skeletons in animals.
As reported in PNAS, this phosphate graphene is the frame that allows your own cells to organisms faster to reform the missing or damaged bone. The method has already shown success in mice. The development of this technology, it can be an important part of orthopaedic medicine that will help us to recover faster thanks to more strong and healthy bones.
The cornerstone of traditional orthopedic medicine have always been to immobilize broken bones and allow the body to recover. Fortunately, our bodies do an excellent job with the repair of bones; with proper adjustment, and enough time, the bone can heal even very serious damage, will be almost as good as new.
Modern methods of physical therapy and recovery techniques have improved this approach is “fix and forget”, adding activity, diet and rest to get the best results after fusion of the broken bones. Particularly traumatic cases may need surgical installation of pins, plates and other structures that will need a longer recovery time, more physiotherapy, and the pain is, quite frankly, more. Opportunities to improve the rules available in General, but only in the most extreme cases.
Research , Sidlik in the field of graphene frames represent a modern approach to orthopedics: the penetration into the body for most recovery inside. When graphene is placed on a damaged bone tissue, around it, it provides a structure for linking and growth of bone cells. Imagine it as a wooden lattice, put in the garden to vine it climbed and grew. Unlike garden lattice, graphene skeleton is destroyed by the growth of bones, disappearing after treatment of the fracture. Perfect patch, which does the job and leaves nothing behind.
The approach framework is not new, but this study suggests improvements in design, composition and production of phosphate graphene. Improved nanotechnological method may not be very interesting, but is of great importance, if your goal is a practical product for health, which should be easy to manufacture and use.
The frame is also perfectly adjustable — it attracts the right calcium ions, has a certain tensile strength and other required physical properties can be “programmed” in the material as the production, that it resembled a real bone as close as possible.
More importantly, this study showed that graphene “forests” can work both with and without stem cells (in this case the stromal cells of the bone marrow). Most other forms of regenerative forests relied on these stem cells to accelerate healing.
Phosphate graphene, however, provides a structure for the growth of normal bone cells and stimulates them to do so. The opportunity to work without the stem cells means that the technology will need less complicated treatment plans when used in the real world.
The sooner the better
There are other technologies that can cure a broken bone is better than a forest — printed cells, nanites, Cybernetics. But all these technologies are much farther from the General public. Phosphate-graphene frames also perfectly will join the existing medical treatments and assistance programs.
As soon as graphene frames will be available part of medicine, will show their real potential. Graphene is just carbon atoms that are located in some way, but the potential changes its molecular structure is almost endless. Eventually there will be a forest, attracting more stem cells that produce more durable bone or prevent fractures.