Exploded image shows a material for bone regeneration and fracture treatment. (Credit: Shinshu University)

A newly developed titanium fiber plate offers a new alternative for regenerative medicine and treating fractures, eliminating the need for surgical extraction of the plate later.

The titanium fiber plate is completely different from conventional titanium plates. Titanium fiber plates prepared by molding titanium fibers into plates by simultaneously applying compression and shear stress at normal room temperature can have an elastic modulus similar to that of bone cortex, and stress shielding will not occur even when the plate lies flush against the bone's surface. Titanium fibers can form a porous structure suitable for cell adhesion and as a bone repair scaffold.

Conventional titanium plates currently used in clinical practice may embrittle bones and later require revision surgery. In contrast, titanium fiber plates for fracture treatment will not require surgical extraction and can reduce patient burden. The plates may also serve as scaffolding for osteoanagenesis after the extraction of bone tumors. The group is currently refining the usages of titanium fiber plates with collaborating companies.