By: 16 March 2016
New generation of synthetic bone graft created

New generation of synthetic bone graft created

Scientists led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have developed a new type of synthetic bone graft that boosts the body’s own ability to regenerate bone tissue and could produce better outcomes for patients.

The research, published in the Journal of Materials Science, found that the new type of graft, called Inductigraft, was able to guide bone tissue regeneration in as little as four weeks.

Researchers from QMUL’s School of Engineering and Materials Science (SEMS) manipulated the pore structure of the graft to mimic natural bone tissue.

“Our challenge is to develop a graft that’s as clever as bone,” said co-author Karin Hing, reader in biomedical materials at QMUL. “For this synthetic graft, we looked at the mechanics of how bone adapts to its environment and changed both the chemical and physical composition of the graft, specifically how the holes within the structure are placed and interconnected.”

By eight to twelve weeks, the performance of Inductigraft alone matched that of the new graft mixed with the clinical gold standard, autograft, which is made up of patients’ own bone and contains living cells and growth factors.

“This new study has real implications for anyone suffering from any sort of skeletal injury, and for surgeons in particular,” added Hing. “At the moment the preference is to use the patients’ own tissue to create or enhance bone grafts; however, our results show that Inductigraft can be just as effective, with the advantage that the patient doesn’t have to undergo additional surgery to harvest the autograft.”

The work builds upon previous research conducted at QMUL where the graft chemistry was enhanced by introducing silicate into hydroxyapatite, a traditional synthetic substitute material containing calcium and phosphate that is chemically similar to natural bone mineral. In previous studies, scientists found the combination of optimised chemistry and pore structure was better at guiding cells to differentiate into cells that produce bone tissue, both in the laboratory and in the body.

Further research examining the mechanism of action by which Inductigraft is able to guide bone formation is currently underway and is funded by EPSRC and ApaTech Ltd.

Source: QMUL and EurekAlert



Hutchens, S.A., Campion, C., Assad, M., et al. (2015) Efficacy of silicate-substituted calcium phosphate with enhanced strut porosity as a standalone bone graft substitute and autograft extender in an ovine distal femoral critical defect model. J. Mater. Sci: Mater. Med. 27(1). doi: 10.1007/s10856-015-5559-3