Nanomaterial For Joining Tendon And Bone | June 29, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 26 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 26 | p. 27 | Concentrates
Issue Date: June 29, 2009

Nanomaterial For Joining Tendon And Bone

Scientists report an easy way to make synthetic calcium phosphate materials that better mimic natural mineral gradients
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: polymer nanofibers, ligament repair

Surgeons routinely repair rotator cuffs, anterior cruciate ligaments, and other spots where bone meets soft tissue, but often those interfaces do not heal well. Such junctions are typically stiff and calcified on one side and soft on the other, with a gradual transition in between. Xiaoran Li, Stavros Thomopoulos, Younan Xia, and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis have found an easy way to make synthetic materials for joining damaged tendon to bone that mimic natural mineral gradients (Nano Lett., DOI: 10.1021/nl901582f). They position a mat of polymer nanofibers at an angle in a glass vial and then slowly introduce simulated body fluid with a syringe pump. Their procedure yields a composite that gradually varies from 0.7 to 37.8% calcium phosphate along its length, making it twice as stiff on one side as it is on the other. Xia says that the team is testing the material in rats with rotator cuff injuries.

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