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Successful testing of new biomimetic plastics as substitutes for skin, cartilage and bone

Mark Holm Olsen

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Successful testing of new biomimetic plastics as substitutes for skin, cartilage and bone

There is good news from the Danish Technological Institute’s plastic materials experts, who are leading a cross-disciplinary and national research project which is to develop and test bone implants of three-dimensional structures in porous plastic. 

The research at the Institute is aimed at enabling the materials to interact with the body’s own cells so that a link is formed between the biocompatible materials and the natural biological tissue. In this way the new technology will mean that in the future cancer and burns patients as well as traffic accident victims with extensive tissue damage will be able to get help regaining the use of their limbs without having to transplant skin or bone from other parts of the body.

The Danish Technological Institute’s research in this field has so far yielded excellent results as shown in the tests carried out by leading researcher into stemcells Moustapha Kassem from Odense University Hospital and Professor Søren Overgaard, who is head of the laboratory testing of the substitute materials.

The latest results indicate that the artificial materials are so similar in functionality to the biological structures in the body that they can work together with the body’s own cells without being rejected.

The research project has been initiated by the Institute and is based on a cross-disciplinary collaboration between engineers, biologists and molecular biologists as well as researchers and clinicians specialised in patient problems and how diseases run their course.

Over the last five years, the Danish Technological Institute has carried out research into the production and activation of tissue and bone structures and has among other things coordinated three EU projects in the field.