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"Fracture putty" could speed healing of broken bones

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February 9, 2012

A new material known as 'fracture putty' could be used to help broken bones heal much more...

A new material known as 'fracture putty' could be used to help broken bones heal much more quickly than is currently possible (Image: nelgdev)

Anyone who has ever broken a bone knows that while receiving the injury itself is quite unpleasant, being laid up for several weeks to even a few months afterwards is also no picnic. Help may be on the way, however. The U.S. Department of Defense is funding a study, to develop fast bone-healing treatments that could be used on soldiers, along with civilians and even animals. Already, scientists have gotten promising results in laboratory tests, using something they call "fracture putty."

Researchers from the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center started by obtaining adult rat mesenchymal stem cells, which produce a protein that is part of the bone healing and generation processes. These were incorporated into a gel (the putty) which was subsequently injected into fractures in the bones of those lab rats - the fractured bones were held in place with a stabilizing device. Within two weeks of the injections, the rats were running around and standing up, reportedly showing no signs of injury.

The putty is now being tested in pigs and sheep - already, it has regenerated bone in sheep within less than four weeks. Plans call for subsequent clinical trials at the university's College of Veterinary Medicine. If all goes well, the fracture putty will then be turned over to the Department of Defense for human trials.

"For many young soldiers, their mental health becomes a real issue when they are confined to a bed for three to six months after an injury," said Steve Stice, director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center. "This discovery may allow them to be up and moving as fast as days afterward."

Other institutions involved in the study, that are pursuing other bone-healing techniques, include the Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University and the University of Texas.

Source: University of Georgia via MedicalXpress

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
5 Comments

Wow, this is like real science fiction type stuff. Finally the future is coming. Now all we need are the shiny jumpsuits and we'll be set.

Scion
9th February, 2012 @ 06:43 pm PST

Keep us posted on all the developments with this please.....

Richie Suraci
10th February, 2012 @ 10:34 am PST

If you think soldiers go stir crazy fast, try 6 year olds.

Slowburn
10th February, 2012 @ 11:09 pm PST

OR we could just not fight wars and fight economic differences and hunger.

Justin Schetrompf
16th February, 2012 @ 09:15 pm PST

re; Justin Schetrompf

Until the last person that will force his beliefs and will on others the rest of us have to decide to either give up what we believe or fight back.

Collectivism as any system designed to "fight economic differences" will fall under has always caused early deaths.

an excerpt from http://totallyhistory.com/plymouth-colony/

"During Plymouth Colony's first two-and-a-half years, the economy was in the form of a communal system. This means that there was no such thing as private property or division of labor. The crops and food were grown for allocation to the whole town and were equally distributed to the people. But in 1623, the Plymouth Plantation had difficulties which led to starvation. This led the leaders to try another system. They started to allot private properties, mainly land, which increased productivity and pulled the plantation out of poverty. It was proven that people became more productive when they were tasked to plant the crops that they would later use for their own consumption."

If it was not for the generosity of the native people they all would have all starved.

Free interprise and charity freely given if far more effective than any government action at eliminating hunger.

Slowburn
20th February, 2012 @ 03:08 am PST
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