Patients treated for broken bones and fractures could soon benefit from an innovative implant technique pioneered by Norwegian company Corticalis in collaboration with Spain’s Numat Biomedical, the University of Oslo, and the University of the Balearic Islands. The joint Norway/Spain initiative aims to drastically improve the healing and repair of damaged bones, reduce patient risk and suffering, and cut costs.
At present, bone replacement surgery involves transplants from other parts of the body, usually from the hip or shinbone. Other techniques involve using the ground bone from donors or even ground or heat-treated bone from cattle. The complexity of the surgery often increases the risk of complications.
The approach Corticalis is taking involves the invention of a new material that can be inserted into the affected area as artificial scaffolding to allow the bone to repair itself. One of the main benefits of the porous ceramic material is that it can easily be cut to shapes that fit the bone defect, making it highly versatile to treat any number of fractures and defects anywhere in the body.
“With our method, it’s sufficient to insert a small piece of synthetic osseous matter into the bone. The artificial scaffold is as strong as real bone and yet porous enough for bone tissue and blood vessels to grow round it and replace it,” said Corticalis co-founder and CEO, Stale Petter Lyngstadaas.
One particular use case scenario has been to treat jaw defects or mandibular cancer. Professor Lyngstadaas says he hopes dentists will be able to use NewBone within two years.