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Silk builds bone

  November 24/December 1, 2008
Meld silk and calcium and you have an artificial bone material that does a good job of approximating the real thing.

The biocompatible material is made by infusing scaffolds of silk's structural protein with a naturally occurring form of calcium. The material has similar properties to the porous material inside long bones, and is absorbed by the body over time as it's replaced by natural bone.

The material could be used to help the body regrow loadbearing bones.

Research paper:
Bone-like Resorbable Silk-based Scaffolds for Load-bearing Osteoregenerative Applications
Advanced Materials, published online November 10, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Andrew M. Collins
Oxford BioMaterials Ltd.
Caroline Bertram
Richard O. C. Oreffo
Sonja Von-Aulock
Stephen Mann

Related stories and briefs:
Artificial bone gets natural gradually -- related research

Back to TRN November 24/December 1, 2008

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