Soon, `biopen` that will help draw new bones to repair damaged ones
Melbourne – Scientists are developing a ‘biopen’ that contains stem cells and growth factors, to repair damaged and diseased bone.
The device could be ready for trials in human patients in the next five years.
The ‘biopen’ works similar to 3D printing to create new tissue, combining cells mixed in a seaweed extract and coated in a protective gel, News.com.au reported.
In the proposed ‘biopen,’ two layers of material combine in the device’s head while a surgeon would use it to “fill in” a damaged section of bone in a patient.
After the mixture is dispensed an ultraviolet light fixed to the ‘biopen’ dries it, allowing it to be built up in layers, thereby constructing a 3D scaffold of new bone.
The University of Wollongong’s Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science handed the invention over to St Vincent’s Hospital, where Professor Peter Choong would develop the cell material for use in clinical trials.