Polymer sponge will repair spinal defects

Tumors that attack the spine are particularly problematic when trying to treat because of the extremely important function of both the motor and the key element of the nervous system. New technologies, imprinted prints and innovative materials used in their production can be of help.

Specialists from the Mayo Clinic have developed a new substance that will repair the spine damaged by cancer. This is not a solution, however, as a bone prosthesis created on 3D printers. The polymeric material is intended to fill bone and is a temporary substitute that, by biodegradation, strengthens the spine until the patient’s own bones fill out the defect.

The new technique is designed to provide a shorter recovery time, at a much lower cost than existing implants. The polymeric hydrogel is to be injected in place of the cavity, to increase its volume to the right size and to harden in a matter of minutes into a functional prosthesis. Over time, the regenerated bone tissue of the patient will expel the implant, which will degrade.

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