As per a study published in the journal ‘Polymer Degradation and Stability’, scientists are currently working on developing tailor-made bioimplants from glass and plastic, for use in repairing broken bones. These new implants as opposed to the existing metallic implants are dissolvable.
Currently in order to mend broken bones, doctors often use steel pins or metal nails to hold the bones together. Once the bone is repaired, generally a second surgery needs to be performed to remove these metallic pins.
With these new dissolvable implants, a second surgery just to remove the implants will no longer be required.
These implants are being prepared using biodegradable polymer and bioglass. While the biodegradable polymer is the main component, bioglass has been added to it to give the implant the required stiffness and toughness. Polymer on its own is extremely soft.
Jose Ramon Sarasua and Aitor Larranaga, researchers involved in this study have already thoroughly analyzed the effect of bioglass on thermal degradation of polymers and are currently working on synthesizing and shaping tailor-made bioimplants.
Speaking on this development researcher Jose Ramon Sarasua stated that
"These composites that have a biodegradable polymer base are candidates with a bright future in mending broken bones or in regenerating bone defects."