Washington, Aug 14 ANI | 3 months ago

People with face defects have new hope as scientists have created a 'self-fitting' material that can be beneficial in reconstructing faces.

Injuries, birth defects or surgery to remove a tumor can create gaps in bone. And when they occur in the head, face or jaw, these bone defects can dramatically alter a person's appearance.

Though 'autografting' is helpful in filling bone defects in the head, face or jaw, leader of the study, Melissa Grunlan, said that the problem with the process was a rigid material's very difficult to shape into these irregular defects, in addition to harvesting bone for the process, which could create complications at the place where the bone was taken from in the body.

Grunlan and her colleagues at Texas AandM University made a shape-memory polymer (SMP) that molded itself precisely to the shape of the bone defect without being brittle, and also supported growth of new bone tissue.

The SMP is biodegradable, so that eventually the scaffold will disappear, leaving only new bone tissue behind.

The researchers tested the SMP scaffold by seeding the polymer with human osteoblasts. After three days, the polydopamine-coated SMPs had grown about five times more osteoblasts than those without a coating. Furthermore, the osteoblasts produced more of the two proteins, runX2 and osteopontin, that are critical for new bone formation.

The team will be presenting their research at the 248th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

(Posted on 14-08-2014)

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