Solution: an elegantly “simple” biomimetic film coating.
Critical-size bone defects are challenging to bridge and successfully treat. A research team at Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute, led by Henry J. Donahue, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow Alayna Loiselle, Ph.D., and Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Ph.D., the Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Pennsylvania State University, is exploring new biotechnologies to enhance bone integration in such patients. Donahue explains, “While traditionally used allographic bone implants can be effective for bridging critical-size defects, patients encounter postoperative complications, such as ongoing pain, increased risk of bone fracture and infection at the implant site, and need for additional surgeries. Allograft bone often is not well integrated into host tissue and lacks the strength of native bone.”
Part of the problem seems to arise from the processing of cadaveric bone, which removes all host cells and disease particles prior to implantation. While helping to ensure safety, the process, however, destroys the naturally rough, nanotopographic features of the bone’s outer surface, rendering it less steoconductive, thus hindering cell migration to the repair site and discouraging osteoblast differentiation. Continue reading