Adhesive for bones: unique biocompatible polymer is now created

Adhesive for bones: unique biocompatible polymer is now created
Photo: KTH Royal Institute of Technology,

Swedish researchers have developed biocompatible polymer material that may be called “glue for bones”. The adhesive substance will smoothly and safely conjoin fractures in five minutes.

Scientific paper, written by researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Sweden), was published in Advanced Functional Materials journal. It may help millions of patients with osteoporosis. A series of experiments have proven that innovative adhesive substance may fasten together bone fragments not only quickly, but fast, safely, and easily in terms of technology as well.

Traditionally, in case of bone fractures, one of two methods conservative treatment methods is used: fixation (when bone fragments are brought together and immobilization area is fixed by using plaster bandages, splints, bands, etc.) or traction (most often with metal wires and mechanical extension).

At the same time, dentists have used various adhesive substances to successfully fix bone tissue for years. This tempting method was adapted to meet the needs of traumatology and now health professionals are using similar technologies to conjoin certain bones. However, adhesives are rarely so solid to fix bones “entirely and permanently”. Moreover, there are some constraints on the use in a humid environment. An additional point is that widely used materials were not biocompatible – they were either toxic or rejectable by the body.

However, researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology believe that their development has no adverse effects, rather solid, sets fast, and biologically compatible. “Glue for bones” is using the same reliable technique used in dentistry, known as thiol-ene coupling, which remains solid even in contact with water and oxygen. Technology provides for the creation sort of a “sandwich”: three-layered material, when the layer of glue is laid out on the bone surface, then a fiber patch is added and strengthened with that very glue. Solidifying process lasts several minutes only and after that bone may take the load again.

New material was tested on the bones of laboratory rats. Researchers are totally satisfied with the results of the experiments. The technology offered by the Swedish researchers will be an ideal solution for those, who suffer from osteoporosis – disease where increased bone weakness increases the risk of a broken bone. On frequent occasions, such patients are facing significant discomfort due to bone fractures.

This development may be of particular importance to the aged persons, whose bones are conjoining significantly slower if compared to young patients. Therefore, we are looking forward to the development and commercialization of this technology.

As a reminder: Innovation House has already told about Ukrainian clinic ilaya that restores bones by using the cells of the patient.