Print 14 comment(s) - last by weskurtz0081.. on Jun 17 at 2:46 PM

  (Source: Fraunhofer ILT)
A new head...well, almost

A new implant for bone reconstruction has recently debuted in the medical world. Instead of rigid titanium plugging the holes in ones cranium, the new implant is degradable, as well as made of a synthetic bone-like material. The implant stimulates the body to heal itself, at its custom fit allows it to disappear at the same rate as the regrowing bone.

Normally, the body will heal itself – save for large injuries. So when a person happens to puncture their skull (quite a large injury), medical help is required. Instead of long-term doctor care, messy surgeries, and other setbacks, the new transplant offers custom care. It replaces the missing bone, until the body's own fissure closes up the hole.

The implant is made to last as long as the body will need it – from a few weeks to a year. In addition, instead of the solid implants to date, this new implant is porous. At intervals of just hundred micrometers, the openings allow for a lattice-type structure that the patient's bone can grow into. 

The new implant was produced by the “Resobone” project of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

"Its precision fit and perfect porous structure, combined with the new biomaterial, promise a total bone reconstruction that was hitherto impossible to achieve," says Dr. Ralf Smeets of the University Medical Center of Aachean.

Synthetic polylactide (PLA) and tricalium phosphate (TCP) are the key ingredients to the custom implant. PLA is employed in the implant's basic structure, and TCP ensures rigidity and stimulates the patient's natural bone growth.

There is a downside to the implant, however. It only be used in places in the body where stress is not prevalent. So patients with injured facial, maxillary, and cranial bones, as well as holes less than 25 square centimeters, are eligible for “Resobone” implants. 

The new implant surgery gives hope that patients with severe bone injury can recover quicker, better, and more comfortably. This new technology also steers away from the controversial stem cell subject

"No custom-fit, degradable implants ever existed before now. We have achieved our project goal," said Simon Hoges, Project Manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology.


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Socialized medicine bad... mmmkay?
By spread on 6/16/2010 5:34:09 PM , Rating: 5
The new implant was produced by the “Resobone” project of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

Interesting how this wasn't developed by a for-profit company.

RE: Socialized medicine bad... mmmkay?
By Captain Orgazmo on 6/17/2010 2:34:48 AM , Rating: 1
The main problems with socialized medicine are cost and efficiency (inherent to any government institution), lack of individualized patient care, and relatively poor doctor pay/incentives. The only advantage is guaranteed universal coverage, which is an ideological issue (in the sense that some people are for it, and some are against).

Grant funded research to develop patent-free drugs and medical technology is good, and has nothing to do with the issue of socialized medicine. You can have one and not the other. Your point is not valid.

RE: Socialized medicine bad... mmmkay?
By FoundationII on 6/17/2010 5:17:07 AM , Rating: 2
While a lot of those things seem logical, they're actually not true in reality.
There are plenty of reports about the subject. They all agree that the US has the most expensive healthcare in the world while attaining only average quality.
It's true the US has the best paid doctors by far though. So for doctors the US does have the best healthcare system.

By weskurtz0081 on 6/17/2010 11:40:25 AM , Rating: 2
The QUALITY of the health care in the US, when it is actually obtained, is among the best. The problem is, it's so damned expensive that people don't seek health care due to the cost, and therefore end up being less healthy than some other countries. The health care itself though is outstanding, it's the cost that create the problem.

By Visual on 6/17/2010 7:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
I have a crab hat, your point is not valid.
Dude... the OP didn't even have a point, yet you post something like this?

RE: Socialized medicine bad... mmmkay?
By spread on 6/17/2010 11:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
That's nice and all, but why then does the US lag behind the rest of the civilized world in health care? Sure, you MIGHT get personalized health care, but what good is it if its just average?

Not only that but your wondrous for-profit health care, besides being lackluster, is expensive and never guaranteed thanks to the insurance companies.

You talk about costs and efficiency. How efficient is a health-care system when the insurance company takes huge profits off the top, and do their best to stall paying for care (because it costs them money)?

You're in love with the IDEA of a free and efficient system, which is all nice but it doesn't work in real life.

RE: Socialized medicine bad... mmmkay?
By weskurtz0081 on 6/17/2010 11:49:18 AM , Rating: 2
Really? It goes WAAAAAAYY beyond insurance companies man, you are grossly over simplifying the problems with the current state of the US health care system. There have been insurance companies in the US offering health insurance for HOW long now? But, the problems we are seeing today haven't been present the entire time have they? No, they haven't.

The quality of health care in the US, when received, is among the top in the world. There is a reason why people (with enough money) from all over the world come to some of the US hospitals for treatment on certain things, that's because, when you can afford it, the treatment is second to none.

The problem with the US health care system isn't that the health care that is RECEIVED is sub standard, it's that to many people spend money elsewhere and cannot afford it, and therefore they are less healthy than they otherwise would be. And, in large part, it's a problem with the culture.

In summation, if you pick one target, and try to say "that's the reason that the US health care system is (insert comment)", you would be wrong. There are MANY reasons for the problems, not just one. As well, suggesting that the health care received in the US is average is just incorrect, it's the extremely high costs that prevent people from seeking out health care and therefore they are less healthy.

RE: Socialized medicine bad... mmmkay?
By FoundationII on 6/17/2010 1:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is not that the health care when received is substandard. The problem is that it is actually rather standard for Western countries.
So the US pays about 50% more as a nation, for about the same care. That's the big problem.

Of course the US has some top private hospitals that are really good and to which patients flock from all over the world. But in fact so does Europe, I know several private hospitals in Europe which are filled with wealthy US patients.

By weskurtz0081 on 6/17/2010 2:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
There is a ranking of the best hospitals in the world out there somewhere, I saw it not too long ago, and of the top 30 hospitals, only ONE of them is not in the US. So, anecdotal evidence of "several hospitals in Europe" that are "filled with wealthy US patients" doesn't really prove much.

If you are comparing the health care in the US, when received, to that of Europe as a whole, the US would easily beat Europe in that measurement. Where it falls short (as I mentioned above) is the associated costs. Health care in the US, when received, is better than European and Canadian health care, do the reading.

The cost associated with receiving health care, and the decisions American's make as a society are what make us unhealthy. not the quality of the health care because it is among the best in the world if not the best.

Other uses?
By rs1 on 6/16/2010 5:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
Is this only good for skull fractures, or can it be used to heal other bones in the body? A little over a year ago I fractured one of the sesamoid bones in my foot. The only options available to me were to leave the broken bone to heal on its own, or have the bone surgically removed, with my doctor preferring the first option. Even after all this time it still causes me occasional pain and discomfort, and on X-ray it's very clearly not completely healed. Instead the two pieces of bone are separated by a gap of about half a centimeter. They've lined up nicely with each other over time, but the gap has not gotten any narrower.

I was considering having the bone pieces removed, but maybe this new implant could be used to coax them into fusing back together? I would much prefer to have the bone properly healed than removed from my body.

RE: Other uses?
By ClownPuncher on 6/16/2010 5:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it, most bones in the foot are considered high stress bones, which the article says does not work with the current implants.

RE: Other uses?
By Divineburner on 6/17/2010 3:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
So patients with injured facial, maxillary, and cranial bones, as well as holes less than 25 square centimeters

I would think so, assuming the your gap falls within 25 square centimeters.

But square centimeters, won't measurement in cubic centimeters be better?

By trisct on 6/16/2010 5:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think you mean Aachen... and it would have been helpful to say this was somewhere in Germany, maybe?

By tazdevl on 6/16/2010 6:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
This is BS. Resorbable orthopedia implants from a variety of compounds (PLA/PGA most common) have been around for quite some time and are used all over the body... long bone, max face and neuro for example. You do see them used more often in pediatric patients due to the rapid healing and growth that occurs. However, they are used in adults... tend to seem them used frequently in situations where physicians are creating a container/cage for bone growth factors/biologics.

In terms of a craioplasty mesh-like alternatives... the Lorenz HRT implant encourages both tissue and bone incorporation.

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