The ‘grow your own’ hip replacements that make new bone then degrade away
PUBLISHED: 20:31 GMT, 9 February 2013 | UPDATED: 20:34 GMT, 9 February 2013
New hope: A ‘grow your own’ hip replacement could be introduced within a decade.
There are about 300,000 fragility structures in the UK every year, while it is reported around 14,000 people die due to fractures of the hip.
Along with the risk of blood poisoning from metal-on-metal replacements, the new research could prove to be a god-send for millions of people.
The idea is that an implant made from plastic material would help stimulate new bone to grow, and once the structure is strong enough, the implant would degrade away.
Stem cells attach themselves to the ‘scaffold’ and instead of turning into blood cells they turn into bone cells.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Professor Mark Bradley, a chemist at Edinburgh University, said: ‘Certain things wear out before others, hips for example.
‘The idea is that you would shape a replacement hip to what was wanted, put it in position and wait.
‘Over time the cells would recruit on to the scaffold, which would start to degrade. The good bone formed would take its place.’
The plan is for the operation to be available within a decade, and at the moment the research is still being tested on animals, although it has been tested on human tissue in lab tests.
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