Scientists develop wonder glass that regenerates bones

June 6th, 2008 - 1:57 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 6 (IANS) A new kind of glass will enable patients to re-grow bones by dissolving and releasing calcium into the body, possibly making bone transplants redundant. The porous glass, developed by scientists at Imperial College here, dissolves in the body and stimulates bone growth, without leaving any toxic residue.

Specific concentrations of soluble silica and calcium ions in the glass activate genes that encode proteins controlling the bone cell cycle and differentiation of the cell to form bone matrix and rapid mineralisation of bone nodules.

The gene is activated only when the timing sequence of a cell cycle is matched by that of the glass surface reactions and controlled release of ions.

“To allow people to remain active, and to contribute to society for longer, the need for new materials to replace and repair worn out and damaged tissues becomes ever more important,” the researchers said.

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