Researchers at the Autonomous University of Puebla (BUAP) developed a biomaterial with the ability to serve as a support for regenerating bone tissue, which is biodegradable and can be printed in 3D with controlled porosity.
The material has the potential to be used as an implant and replace small portions of bone tissue. It is made of degradable polymers and hydroxyapatite, a ceramic mineral found in the body, which are injected into a 3D printer.
Efrain Rubio Rosas, a researcher at the University Center of Entailment and Technology Transfer (CUVyTT) BUAP and project leader said that “the human bone is composed of organic material such as collagen, proteins and growth factors, and other inorganic which is constituted, mostly, calcium phosphate as hydroxyapatite crystals obtainable synthetically and used in orthopedic implants, it is not rejected by the body.”
The development created by researchers at the BUAP implant serves as small or as a filling with the ability to regenerate natural bone tissue sections. “We use hydroxyapatite nanoparticles and a polymer compatible with the human body, which degrades the physiological fluids; however it supports sufficient time to allow natural bone growth”.
Furthermore, the material has a similarity to human bone porosity and researchers developed a mathematical model allowing a three dimensional structure. Computational patterns were created in order to make a fiber that is injected into the 3D printer.
The mathematic model is in patent request and it is intended that in the future an exact required piece of bone is printed.
Dr. Rubio Rosas told that actually hydroxyapatite powder is used as a bone filler; however this innovation can generate enough to be used in implants to a cubic centimeter volume.
Also, the Faculty of Medicine BUAP develops preclinical studies (cell culture) to verify the biocompatibility of the material.
The multidisciplinary team is conformed by Dr. Efrain Rubio Rosas and teacher Eric Reyes Cervantes CUVyTT, Dr. Marco Antonio Morales and student Irving Fernández Cervantes, both from the School of Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Jose Fernando Rojas Rodriguez and Maura Cardenas Garcia, of the faculties of Physical Mathematical Sciences and Medicine, respectively.