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3D-Printed Bone Structures May Help Patients Regrow Organic Bone

Hyperelastic bone (HB), a biodegradable and highly biocompatible material developed by scientists at Northwestern University, has the potential to aid patients in regrowing their own skeletal components. This type of solution would be preferable to reliance on bone grafts and permanent synthetic implants, both of which have tendencies to fail over time and can appear aesthetically displeasing.

HB is 3d-printed using ink made of hydroxyapatite, the compound that makes up approximately 70% of natural bones, and polycaprolactone, a substance that gives the synthetic bone structure its malleability. The bone replacements are printed in a triangular honeycomb lattice that provides conduits for blood vessels and minerals to populate when rebuilding or repairing the patient’s damaged bones.

Click here to read more about this research in Science Translational Medicine.