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March 21st, 2013

Man-Made Bone Material Helps Heal Fractures Quicker

Some of the more frequent injuries that maritime lawyers come across are fractures. Most often, these occur during falls on the same level or from a higher elevation. Fractures can also occur when a maritime worker is struck by flying debris, or a falling object. An accident involving heavy machinery can result in a broken bone. Workers can fall down a ladder, breaking bones.

No matter what the type of fracture, a maritime worker may be off work for several days after the injury. A new artificial bone material that had just been developed by British scientists promises to quicken the process of healing fractures.

The artificial bone material consists of a combination of stem cells and a lightweight degradable plastic material. The bone implant is inserted into the broken bone. Over time, this artificial bone material encourages the re-growth of new bone. The plastic in the implant dissolves leaving behind healthy new bone.

The bone material was developed by researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton, who say they have been collaborating for several years now on this project. Human testing is expected to begin, and once the technique has been perfected, it could provide doctors and therapists a much better way of healing fractures.

What is interesting is that the material is expected to be very beneficial in the treatment of severe bone injuries like multiple fractures. The results of the research were published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials recently. So far, however testing has been restricted to labs and animals. That could change as the researchers move ahead with plans to conduct human clinical trials.

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