June 27, 2003
Bone Replacement Grown With Polymer Scaffolding

Whitaker Foundation and University of Toronto researcher Molly Shoichet has developed a polymer scaffolding that looks like bone which bone marrow cells can infuse into and then grow bone that replaces the slowing dissolving scaffolding.

The new bone grows naturally without the addition of chemical growth stimulants, said Whitaker investigator Molly Shoichet, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto. The innovation is in the design of the synthetic scaffold that provides a framework for the growing tissue.

The design mimics the structure of natural bone so faithfully that some experts in the field cannot distinguish between the two when shown micrographs of each side-by-side, Shoichet said. The research was published in the June 15 issue of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A.

"The structure is very open and porous," she said. "There are large interconnections between the pores separated by struts, rather than solid walls."

Into this spongy matrix, the researchers drizzle bone marrow cells, which can differentiate into osteoblasts, the strong, mineral-like cells of mature bone. The marrow cells take up residence in the scaffold and begin growing and multiplying. As they mature, the scaffold itself dissolves.

"You don't need growth factors to get the cells into the scaffold," Shoichet said. "The cells almost fall through it and get stuck along the way."

The scaffold, developed with coinvestigator John Davies of the University of Toronto, is made of poly(lactide-co-glycolide), a polymer used in sutures. The polymer is processed in a unique way to yield the open, sponge-like structure with pores more than 10 times larger than those that result from conventional processing.

Animal studies show that the scaffold provides an intricate framework for dense new bone growth while it slowly dissolves. In rabbits, strong new bone completely replaced the scaffold in about eight weeks.

This discovery has been licensed to Bonetec Corp. for marketing as OsteofoamTM.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2003 June 27 02:16 PM  Biotech Organ Replacement

Patrick said at June 29, 2003 5:39 PM:

In keeping with the fad for weird body modification, I wonder if anyone will want to grow bones where nature never intended any to be.

The only "fashionable" position I can think of would be men wanting to replicate the penile bone found in many animals, but I'm sure that the addition of bony plates to say the stomache wall or other vulnerable places might prove attractive to boxers, footballers or others whose lifestyle/sports involve getting hit a lot.

Pauletta Jolley said at May 14, 2004 1:56 PM:

The fracture in my left arm has not healed in 4 years could this possible help to heal my arm???

robert taylor said at October 23, 2004 8:57 AM:

i was in car accident on nov.18 03 my femur was broke in 2 places one at the knee and at the hip pin was put in and almost a year later there is non union on both is this product something that might be able to help me thank you robert taylor

kay lee said at November 30, 2004 8:34 PM:

hi, i'm a 30 year old female with a very rare, yet extreme case of periodontitis (horizontal bone loss.) i came across your website & would like to know if this procedure would possibly apply to my situation. if not, then are there any other possibilities with respect to my extreme bone loss? i am currently on periostat & under the care of a researcher in periodontology, yet his research is in the prevention & stabilization of the disease. i'm told that i need to take my periodontitis in 5 year stages, as far as trying to keep my teeth. based on this information, i don't have too many options aside from wondering day-to-day whether i will be able to keep my permanant teeth. thank you for making this kind of information available over the internet & for allowing comments/questions.

Tom Butts said at January 13, 2005 5:09 AM:

I am a seventeen year old senior who has had Legg Calve Perthese Disease since i was 7 and I am due to have a hip replacement when I graduate. However, I am sure I don't have to tell you the problems with a hip replacement at a young age, and because of this I want to make it a last resort. Could a new bone be grown to replace the femur head instead of standard replacement materials. Please get back to me as soon as possible by e-mail. Thank you.

muriel williams said at June 20, 2005 8:56 AM:

I want to find out the details of replacing bone in my hip. I saw a newspaper article recently about replacing a jaw in Germany using an implanted cage. Has such a procedure been done for a hip in a human?

Kathy Romero said at August 10, 2005 1:13 PM:

I am a 48 year old female with extreme bone loss. I was told there was no way of replacing the bone or putting implants due to something about my sinuses being to low, by my dentist. Would you please inform me of details in replacing the bone loss in my mouth. As I am losing my teeth one by one. I am under perodontal care from my dentist at this time, and undergoing treatment to try and save some of the teeth I do have left, if at all possible. He is telling me that he will still have to pull some, that supposedly these teeth cannot be saved. Based on this information, I don't have very many options, please get back to me as soon as possible. Thanking you in advance for your time in this matter, I remain

keith Hill said at August 17, 2005 9:20 AM:

I am considering having my left leg amputated above the knee, as the lower part of my femur was practicaly destroyed following an RTA attempts to screw and plate have failed due to infection. After the fitting of an external fixator to stablise the non-union fracture my knee has fixed in a straight position. I would like to know if anybody in the WORLD has ever had their femur COMPLETELY replaced with an artificial one or if anybody is developing this kind of procedure. If you have please post the details or contact me.

Marc Witkes said at October 10, 2005 12:20 PM:

Is it possible to replace a sesamoid bone in the foot that was fractured and removed two years ago?

Kay Rife said at December 3, 2005 10:03 AM:

I have bone loss in my mouth. Would this bone replacement be usable for my situration?

Beckah said at March 12, 2006 12:26 PM:

My grandson was born recently with Pierre Robin Sequence and I'd like to know if anyone's explored the use of this product in this birth defect; every day that goes by Iann is losing developemnt time for his speech and facial muscles. His jaw isn't growing on it's own, as expected, we may be looking at constructive surgery after all. Everything I've read about this is unbearably painful for the child and drawn out over several years and multiple surgeries with minimal results. Please send more detail about this 'product and procedure' and any contact info for further exploration.
Thanx so much,
Nann (Beckah)

juliet sepia said at March 29, 2006 11:33 PM:

I have extreme bone loss in my mouth both lower jaw. I have not been able to eat for years. Can this product replace the bone so i can have dental implants.

Kathie said at August 23, 2006 10:16 AM:

Hello, I am a 45 year old female who found out that I had Legg-Calve-Perthese around the age of 4 or 5. I have not had hip replacement surgery as of yet but have been told for a couple of years that as soon as I am ready it should be done. At my last appointment the Dr. suggested that it be done, that was 3 years ago. I don't want to have it done until I HAVE TO! Could this process help me. I have always been active even as a child but if this could help, I would love to have that option. Please contact me. Are there any success stories I can see?
thanks, kathie

romina said at January 1, 2008 2:49 AM:

Dear Madam/Sr.
Please tell me if you have this material now for sell because,I want to produce it.

louisa schipp said at January 10, 2008 2:27 AM:

I have just found out that I have so much bone loss in my mouth lower I have dentures and now has come to the point there is virtually no bottom ridge left causing huger problems, just about imossible to keep my dentures in and have always heaps of ulcers, I have just been told I may have to have bone marrow work done what do you think and suggest and what does this mean or entail

louisa schipp said at January 10, 2008 2:28 AM:

I have just found out that I have so much bone loss in my mouth lower I have dentures and now has come to the point there is virtually no bottom ridge left causing huger problems, just about imossible to keep my dentures in and have always heaps of ulcers, I have just been told I may have to have bone marrow work done what do you think and suggest and what does this mean or entail

trena nelson said at May 17, 2008 4:50 AM:

louis schipp, I have the same problem with bone loss. I have a bottom slim ridge slowly disappearing and it does pose problems in eating. Have you gotten any replies to your problem? Who have you spoken to.Is there a procedure for this?

tracey said at May 27, 2008 8:32 PM:

I have severe bone loss in the lower front. Losing teeth rapidly and need dentures or implants but due to bone loss have
been told this is impossible...If anyone can help me please send me an e-mail...I am willing to be a experiment if this will do it....I don't have alot of money and really need help!...This loss started with a broken jaw many years ago...

Michelle said at July 14, 2008 6:35 PM:

Do you know of anywhere in the Chicago metro area where this sort of replacement bone is being put into teeth. I have a similar situation as Tracey (5/27/08) but my situation is due to periodontal disease is a back molar.

Michelle said at July 14, 2008 6:36 PM:

Do you know of anywhere in the Chicago metro area where this sort of replacement bone is being put into teeth. I have a similar situation as Tracey (5/27/08) but my situation is due to periodontal disease is a back molar.

Suzan said at September 29, 2008 6:07 PM:

Hi, I am facing the same situation with the periodontal disease. I am told that I will loose all my upper teeth. I just can't get at peace with this. I have lost a lot of bone and have a lot of infection but my teeth are good. Can this be used to replace the lost bone? If so, how do I find someone who will take my case?

Daniel Bell said at March 4, 2009 5:26 PM:

I have a non-union in my tibia right at the ankle joint. Plating and screwing failed due to infection. Doctors were discussing whether to amputate just above the ankle, or try a bone replacement. Would your product work in this area? Daniel B.

Sheri Smith said at July 9, 2010 10:59 PM:

I am a 57 year old woman with extreme bone loss in my lower jaw. I have some bone loss in my upper jaw also.
also, especially on the molars. I volunteer to be a patient/experimentee to do bone grafting with this new material
you have developed. I need to keep my teeth, I am a gospel singer/songwriter in Branso MO. My front bottom teeth are f
glued together right now to hold them in my head. one tooth is not in bone at all anymore. the experiment could be done on the front
four teeth. I have beaten the disease so far, in that my gums have not bled while brushing or flossing for over a year, and had deep scaling
done two years ago. Can you help me? My email is themenulady@yahoo.com, my name is Sheri Smith

Sherry Fox said at April 23, 2012 7:58 AM:

I am a 56 year old women who has lost all bone in my lower and upper jaw. The bone loss began before I turned 30. I am on disability and below poverty level. I went to a dental school in Nashville to get free dentures paid for through a special program they have. I always have a very painful mouth trying to keep the dentures in. the dentist said I have only basil bone left and they still can't get the dentures to fit properly because of the bone loss. I have not been able to chew anything with the dentures. (so painful). Now I have digestive disorders from now being able to chew my food properly. I also have osteoporosis and take Forteo (8 months of injections) to rebuild bone in my back and areas where affected so much. However, I don't think Forteo will help my bone loss in jaw. Does anyone know what options I have or experiments I may be part of to replace some of this bone loss? I live in Middle Tennessee. Please respond

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