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Dually porous glass shows promise in helping damaged bone regenerate

have as an effective scaffold for bone regrowth.

"The aim of our project was to create nano- and macroporosity in a bioactive material while achieving mechanical properties that match those of bone," says Ana Marques, a research scientist at the Instituto Superior Tecnico who used a variation of a wet-chemistry technique to prepare the dually porous glass.

"We believe our material will stimulate bone regeneration because cells will proliferate inside the scaffolding material and form tissues, thus facilitating the delivery of nutrients to regenerating bone tissue."

Mohamed Ammar, a dentist and research scientist in the tissue-engineering lab at Alexandria's Faculty of Dentistry, says the glass will induce proliferating cells in the regenerating bone to form a "matrix" around the scaffold.

"When you attach the glass to the damaged bone, a layer forms on the surface of the glass that has the same chemical composition as the natural bone. The bone cells come to this layer and attach to it, in effect forming a bone matrix around the glass."

The new material has been successfully tested in laboratory experiments. Ammar is now supervising in vivo tests in Alexandria.

The idea for the project originated two years ago when Jain traveled to Alexandria to meet with Mona Marei, director of the tissue-engineering lab at Alexandria's Faculty of Dentistry.

Jain and Marei discussed a medical problem that is widespread in Egypt, especially among women the deterioration of people's teeth and jawbones. Marei told Jain that osteoporosis was causing the bone around people's teeth to weaken, making it difficult for doctors to replace loosening or diseased teeth with prosthetics or implants and, in severe cases, causing fractures that required removal of bone and teeth.

Marei said she had tried without much success to replace the damaged teeth and bone with existing biocompatible glass bone transplants.


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Contact: Kurt Pfitzer
kap4@lehigh.edu
610-758-3017
Lehigh University
5-Dec-2006


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