The Creation Of Artificial Bones

BioHacking

Biohacking is a branch of science that deals with making the human body function better through technological intervention or through personal betterment. Over the past few years, there has been a lot of development in the bone replacement field.

The problem is, the materials used are not really organic, rather made of composite plastic, silicone, or aluminum, titanium blends. While they are effective, the body will always see it as a foreign object and the patient is left rigid.

Even advancements to replicate bones with tricalcium phosphate which can blend into natural bone were too rigid and cannot be used with growing children. So biohacking bones was unable to reach its full potential.

Regeneration of Bones?

Bones have a certain level of regenerative ability. Fractures, for example are healed when set right and they are often found to be stronger than the original bone. The ability to heal is innate in us.

Bones are made of two types of cells which constantly keep renewing themselves. It is similar to the way other cells work, like on the skin. The process is continuous, but bones cannot be replaced beyond a certain level. A clean fracture will heal, but a crushed and crumbled bone will not. A bone lost to injury or disease will not regrow. Moreover, as the patient advances in age, the regenerative power of the bones comes down drastically.

Artificial Bones

The challenge is not to create materials that can blend in with bones. Rather, the challenge is finding material that can replicate the structure, elasticity and fibrous nature that allows bones to grow and repair themselves the way they do.

A research team from Tokyo have been developing this biohacking technique by which artificial bones behave like real bones. It will then allow doctors to even replace bones or add them where they might have been lost or become too damaged to heal.

It makes use of 2 types of extracellular matrix, inorganic apatite, and organic collagen. Tissue is formed when there is a secretion of collagen by the osteoblasts (cells that make up real bones) and the Hydroxyapatite on the surface of bones. The resulting growth is almost indistinguishable from actual bones.

Clinical trials have been proven to be successful. It may not be to far in the future where you can simply replace any weakening bone with a brand new set. It is one of the most interesting instances of biohacking that we have come across in some time.

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