Researchers are developing an artificial bone that can be used for treating of the most common joint disease — osteoarthritis. The bi-functional composite imitates the complex osteochondral structure of a joint, i.e., both cartilage and bone tissues.

The bi-functional composite imitates the complex osteochondral structure of a joint. (Credit: Kaunas University of Technology)

The bi-functional scaffold aims to compensate defects of both cartilage and bone. Made of several different substances — hydroxyapatite, gelatine, and chitosan — the scaffold imitates the complex osteochondral structure and functionality of the joint and fills the fractures of the two different tissues. One of the components of the new composite is gelatine. This clear, hard, and almost tasteless substance obtained from animal collagen is highly biologically compatible and biodegradable and has low antigenic properties; its modification possibilities are said to be numerous.

The scaffolds were modeled by layering polymer combinations, and the porous structure of a scaffold was achieved by lyophilization, i.e., freeze drying.

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Medical Design Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2018 issue of Medical Design Briefs Magazine.

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