Green Science Alliance has developed a 3D printable biodegradable plastic (PLA)/hydroxyapatite composite material for artificial bone, cultured cell scaffolding and regenerative medicine

Green Science Alliance has developed a 3D printable biodegradable plastic (PLA)/hydroxyapatite composite material for artificial bone, cultured cell scaffolding and regenerative medicine

KAWANISHI-CITY, Japan, October 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In human daily life, bone cancer, osteosarcoma, osteomyelitis, artificial joint dysfunction, bone fractures, etc. are the causes of bone defects. It is possible to prepare bone tissue from a deceased donor patient although there is a risk of viral infection. Moreover, this act itself can be difficult for religious reasons. On the other hand, transplantation of one’s own iliac bone or calf bone, called autologous bone graft, is another way, although one should be aware of the limited volume availability. Some studies report that the autologous bone graft operation could cause pain afterwards.

In this regard, the development of bone substitute materials and artificial bones could be a promising technology. In the early stage of development, metals such as titanium or ceramic materials were studied in order to make a sturdy artificial bone. However, their bone compatibility was not good and they were not suitable for long-term use, especially for children. In the 1980s, artificial bones made of hydroxyapatite or β-TCP (tricalcium phosphate) were developed and since then the demand and expectation for this type of artificial bone has increased rapidly.

Even though, they still had problems as these materials were strong and difficult to adjust to the desired shape. Thus, powder, block and pumice formed from hydroxyapatite or β-TCP were developed. Nevertheless, these materials did not meet the real demand in surgery due to the difficulty in terms of shape modification.

To reproduce body tissue similar to human bone, it is necessary to make precise three-dimensional structures in order to be able to apply them during an actual surgical intervention. In this regard, the 3D printer is the best choice to design the complex structure desired for each patient. We can even expect to create bespoke materials and structure for each patient’s expectation.

Polylactic acid (PLA) is the biodegradable resin which can be used for human body and it has already been applied as bone joining material.

For these reasons, Dr. Ryohei Mori, Daiki TanakaHirohisa Iwabayashi of Green Science Alliance have developed a 3D printable PLA/Hydroxyapatite composite material to meet these demands and expectations.

Also, recently, the scaffold for tissue regenerative medicine has been an active research topic. As mentioned above, PLA has biodegradability, compatibility with human body although it does not respond to cell proliferation. Therefore, it cannot be applied to adhesion or gasket material for cell culture or tissue regeneration. For this purpose, this same PLA/hydroxyapatite composite material can also be expected to improve bone tissue, cell development in culture as they contain hydroxyapatite.

Green Science Alliance also plans to prepare a biodegradable resin and some functional materials, including β-TCP (β-tricalcium phosphate: this material has a higher bone substitution capacity than hydroxyapatite), collagen, etc. to create other advanced biomaterials.

The company will continue to meet the challenge of creating high-quality biomaterials for bone tissue replacement, regenerative medicine such as scaffold, cell culture, etc.

Ryohei Mori


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SOURCE Green Science Alliance Co., Ltd.

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