The conventional therapies for healing bone defects are not that strong. A recent study by IIT Roorkee Researchers claims new things for treating bone defects. The study aimed to optimise the content of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) and TiO2 in the polymer matrix of chitosan (CTS) with a constant amount of nano-hydroxyapatite (5%) to mimic the mechanical and biological microenvironment of the natural bone extracellular matrix with enhanced anti-bacterial efficacy.
“The current clinical grafting methods suffer from post-operative infections and the unwarranted adhesion between the healing bone and the adjacent soft tissues. A mechanically strong membrane would provide a barrier for maintaining the original shape of the bone and avert any postoperative attachment between the bone and the surrounding soft tissues. These two associated complications with the current standards inspired these studies” said Sarim Khan, who is the first author on the two studies.
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The study establishes that the addition of an optimised amount of natural clay mineral (Halloysite) to a chitosan matrix results in a bioresorbable membrane which is ideal for bone tissue regeneration in humans. In the study, they have shown that the membrane is highly favourable to osteoblasts (bone cells) for bone regeneration. The membrane possesses enhanced antibacterial resistance so it can fight off any postoperative infections. Lastly, the membranes possess a superior tensile strength of 67 MPa and enhanced elastic behaviour, which will help the membrane is undergoing day to day mechanical fatigue cycles without any damage.\
These membranes can be implanted instead of the traditional metallic stents and plates because they are way cheaper (300 times) and there is no need for secondary surgery to remove the stents and plates as these grafts are bioresorbable. Moreover, this method does away with the other complications associated with the traditional clinical grafting methods such as donor site morbidity, the limited supply of grafting material, and immunogenic rejection. Research has shown that 20 per cent of women aged over 50 in India suffer from osteoporosis. Such a low-cost alternative would make the treatment affordable for healing fractures due to osteoporosis in women.
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