Biomaterials

Better bone patching with hydrogel foam

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Science  13 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6223, pp. 733
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6223.733-d

Pore structure of a 3D architectured hydrogel (ArcGel)

CREDIT: HZG 2015

Bone grafts are currently the clinical standard for replacing larger bone defects caused by trauma, infections, or tumors. Degradable biomaterials are not sufficient for regenerating bone without the addition of peptides or growth factors to attract and direct the needed cells. Neffe et al. devised a one-step process for creating hydrogels through a foaming process using gelatin and lysine connected by urea junctions. The gels form an open porous structure that allows cells to invade and provides support for their adhesion, as well as offering tailorable local environments and mechanical properties and controlled and rapid degradation. In vivo testing for the regeneration of 5-mm femoral defects in rats showed healing capacity comparable to that of bone grafts after 6 weeks.

Adv. Mater. 10.1002/adma.201404787 (2015).

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