Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 

News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations
865.574.4165

 

Bone Clone Story Tip Audio

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 21, 2006 — Life for the 2.2 million people worldwide needing bone grafts could get a lot better if a new hybrid material developed by researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee lives up to expectations.

While conventional synthetic bone graft materials offer several advantages over donor bone and negate the need for the patient to undergo a second operation, all suffer from significant shortcomings. The beauty of the gel-like substance developed by a team that includes UT's Stacy Hutchens and Barbara Evans and Hugh O'Neill of ORNL's Chemical Sciences Division is that it mimics the way bone grows in the body.

Grafting with this material could improve healing around surgically implanted devices such as artificial joints or dental implants. Properties of the material -- calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite nanocrystals deposited in a bacterial cellulose hydrogel -- are described fully in a paper published on line in the journal Biomaterials.

Funding for this research has been provided through the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program and by the National Science Foundation. [Contact: Ron Walli; 865.576.0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

For more ORNL Story Tips, go to: http://www.ornl.gov/info/press_releases/story_tips.cfm