Injectable foam that can repair degenerating bones

So calcium phosphate cements (CPCs) have been used for nearly 100 years to treat bone damage in situ, i.e. during surgery. They are flexible, biocompatible, and nontoxic. What’s not to love? Unfortunately they have never been known to be porous- i.e. cavities larger than 50 nm. Bones, as we know, are porous in nature, so the supplanting material would need to be porous as well. The foam forms in a silicon hydrogel, and it turns out that by changing the pH of the hydrogel, the porosity of the foam-polymer network is affected! This is huge, as pH sensitivity of hydrogels should now always be considered when expanding a polymer. Great to see some elementary polymer science in action 🙂

 

bone-gel_1024
Expandable, porous CPC foam. Source: ScienceAlert

CPC foam to repair bone degeneration

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