Progress in the fabrication of bioactive cements and pre-set scaffolds for bone tissue regeneration10th Dec 2014

Case Study: Paul Hatton, School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield

Progress in the fabrication of bioactive cements and pre-set scaffolds for bone tissue regeneration

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have made significant progress in the development of a new bone cement and preset regenerative scaffold based on the combination of bioactive glass with an acidic polymer.


For over 20 years, researchers have been seeking a cement composition which does not release aluminium ions; glassionomer cements currently used in middle ear surgery contain aluminium ions often associated with local bone tissue mineralisation and neurotoxicity. Improved understanding of the complex setting chemistry has assisted the design of optimised materials.

Our new cement contains no aluminium and is more biocompatible then previous compositions. Further progress includes preparation of both prototype cements and bone graft substitutes or scaƒolds, and demonstration of in vitro biocompatibility using cultured L929 cells showing the new material is comparable to the parent bioactive glass composition. The study of tissue response using a challenging bone defect model has been initiated.

In addition, a patent that describes this new technology has been published (WO2014102538A1). The new biomaterials are very much ready for development as medical devices, and towards this goal the team have received an indepth market analysis report from Christina Doyle of Xeno Medical Ltd, detailing important opportunities.

With this goal in mind, discussions with potential commercial manufacturers and end users are now being undertaken. This new technology could have applications in the treatment of a number of ear conditions such as ossicular chain repair and Cochlear implant surgery. Potentially, it could also have wider uses as a bone graft substitute for use in craniofacial, orthopaedic, dental and spinal surgery. This project is highly likely to lead to the deployment of new healthcare technologies for patient benefit.

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