Researchers in Ireland are developing a new bone cement that may help mend spinal injuries and other major bone fractures.
Bone cement treatments, acrylic-based fillers that are injected into the injured area, are already used to help repair bone injuries caused by osteoporosis. However, the “cement” currently under development by medical engineers at Queen’s University may help individuals suffering from serious bone fractures caused by car or other accidents.
Serious bone fractures may require more invasive and complex surgery. The researchers believe that the new treatment will help repair burst spinal fractures and help reduce recovery times for those injured.
The bone cement is currently being developed and tested at Queen’s and Leeds University.
"These materials can be delivered to the fracture site by injection and mimic the chemical composition of bone itself,” said Dr Fraser Buchanan of Queen’s School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. "Clearly we need to develop biomaterials that more closely match the properties of real bone and this project offers the perfect opportunity to use the range of complimentary skills of this grouping to predict the effects of newly developed cements and even incorporate biological agents to assist the body's own healing process.”