Bioceramic embed can animate skull bone recovery

Bioceramic embed can animate skull bone recovery


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: University of Gothenburg

  • Date: 19 Oct,2020

A bioceramic implant has proved to stimulate regeneration of natural skull bone, so that even large cranial defects can be repaired in a way which hasn’t been possible before.

Reconstructing major bone and soft-tissue injuries in the skull after an accident or treatment of a brain tumor, blood clot, or hemorrhage is a difficult challenge.

Transplanting bone from elsewhere in the body involves risks in both websites — in which the tissue is removed and where it is placed. Integration of plastic or metal implants, for example, is inferior to that of bone, and using them consequently increases the disease risk.

Thomesen is responsible for the current study.

Seeing skull bone grow
Rather, under Thomsen’s guidance, researchers have used a fresh, 3D-printed bioceramic material, attached to a titanium frame shaped like the missing portion of the skull bone. For the first time, they have proven that large cranial defects can heal by way of new bone formation, without growth factors or stem cells being inserted.

From the experiments, the bioceramic implant has been shown to transform into bone, using a composition indistinguishable from natural bone. Experiments with titanium-only implants also resulted in bone formation, but just adjacent to the host bone.

“We can see the skull bone growing out, not just on remaining portions of the cranium but also centrally from the flaw itself,” Thomsen says.

“All the cells which we know are involved in bone formation and remodeling are recruited to, or are in place, in the central part of the defect and in soft tissue in which the bioceramic has been inserted. What happens is that the main constituent of the bioceramic, monetite, transforms into another material from the body: apatite,” he adds.

Growth factors and stem cells are thought to contribute to healing but haven’t yet been demonstrated to have any obvious advantages after administration in large, human skull defects.”Peter Thomsen, Professor, Biomaterials, University of Gothenburg

The experiments were conducted on sheep, and the outcomes could be confirmed in humans, one person, where the bioceramic, 21 months after the intervention, had become a tissue with composition and structure very similar to natural bone. This process is called osteoinduction.

Behind the study are researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and at Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University.

The first authors are Omar Omar, Associate Professor of Biomaterials at Gothenburg, and Associate Professor Thomas Engstrand, Uppsala University.

Håkan Engqvist, Professor of Applied Materials Science in Uppsala, has been responsible for the development of the implanted material and its composition. He points out that the innovative bioceramic breaks down relatively slowly.

“The combination of the ceramic’s composition and its slow breakdown has turned out to be extremely great for bone formation in large cranial defects.”
Peter Thomsen stresses the need for additional research, both to investigate the molecular processes and in the kind of further clinical studies.

“This principle will compete with existing therapy principles of bone transplantation, and metal and plastic implants,” he concludes.

Journal reference:

Omar, O., et al. (2020) In situ bone regeneration of large cranial defects using synthetic ceramic implants with a tailored composition and design.

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