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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/27/2013 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New technique hailed as exciting new tool to repair broken bones and cartilage

Australian scientists have created a pen which may soon be able to literally draw cells onto people with bone fractures. Described as a "bio-pen," the new tool was developed by the University of Wollongong and St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne. It may be put into practice as soon as five years.

In a process similar to 3D printing, the material is deposited in layers. Each layer is exposed to ultraviolet light from a source attached to the pen, hardening the gel so further layers can be added, eventually building a three-dimensional framework.

In a process similar to 3D printing, the material is deposited in layers. Each layer is exposed to ultraviolet light from a source attached to the pen, hardening the gel so further layers can be added, eventually building a three-dimensional framework.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/27/2013 (7 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Bio-pen, broken bones, gel, seaweed


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If successful, the device would allow doctors to apply human cells onto damaged bones and improve bone reconstruction in the future.

Scientists say it could also be used to heal skin and muscle. Researchers say they were able to grow new knee cartilage during initial tests. Eventually, the new technique could be used in order to treat cancers, osteoarthritis and traumatic injury.

"This type of treatment may be suitable for repairing acutely damaged bone and cartilage, for example, from sporting or motor vehicle injuries," Peter Choong, director of orthopedics at St Vincent's told reporters. 

Doctors hope to use the pen to sketch replacement bone exactly for a patient's particular needs. The most popular method at this time, implants, don't work exactly how human tissue does.

The device extrudes cell material in a bio polymer such as seaweed extract, combined in the nozzle with a second layer of protective gel, so the surgeon can fill in areas where bone or cartilage is missing by "drawing" across the surface.

In a process similar to 3D printing, the material is deposited in layers. Each layer is exposed to ultraviolet light from a source attached to the pen, hardening the gel so further layers can be added, eventually building a three-dimensional framework.

An ultra-violet light is then used to solidify the ink which provides protection for the cells while they are built up layer by layer. Once cells begin to develop they turn into nerves, muscle and bone.



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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



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