CEITEC is developing a special bioactive replacement for jaw bone. It will be tested in China.
Scientists from CEITEC BUT are developing special ceramic materials to replace jaw bone. They are manufacturing ceramic granules which can be filled with a unique biopolymer and in the form of a solution use them as “ink” in 3D printers. These print ceramic implants of jaw bone to meet the specific requirements of individual patients. Scientists from Moravia’s metropolis won this grant in cooperation with German, Swedish, Spanish and Chinese experts. The research combines several technologies that are already in use and utilises them in medicine in line with current trends towards reducing treatment costs.
Scientists from the Advanced Ceramic Materials group at CEITEC BUT have established cooperation with German doctors who have patented a unique biopolymer. This is a substance which can, in a remarkable way, initiate and then support the capacity of bone to regenerate. Member of the Brno research team, David Salamon, is able to produce ceramic granules with a cavity that can then be filled with this biopolymer. In Sweden they are refining methods of scanning damaged bone for 3D modelling. Other Brno scientists are working on the development of the cheapest and most effective methods of forming jaw bone from ceramics. Experts from Peking hospital are prepared to provide support and patients for the resolving of real problems from everyday medical work. This project is a unique example of how scientists from a range of fields can cooperate and develop both methods and technologies which have real-life applications.
“Our aim is to replace damaged jaw with ceramics to meet the precise needs of the patient. Thus we have to make an exact copy which we then fill with a substance that supports healing“, says Professor Karel Maca from CEITEC BUT of the research. Thanks to this approach a specific patient, for example after a car crash, gains replacement jaw bone created on the basis of a scan that exactly suits them. Thanks to the bioactive polymer in the ceramic granules the body is able to accept the implanted jaw bone without unwelcome side-effects and furthermore can quickly begin the healing process. The doctor also gains a precise 3D image which is an aid in the operation itself, helping with the exact placing of the replacement. The correct placing of new “ceramic” bone minimizes damage to the jaw during the operation and contributes to rapid healing. Professor Maca’s team is not looking to directly find new methods, but rather to develop and combine existing ones, in order to minimize the cost of manufacturing replacement jaw and then other bones. They have been able to engage in the work thanks to financial support from EU programme FP7.
“We want to test the available methods for making precise ceramic shapes and find those which are both most appropriate and cheapest for use in operations,” explains David Salamon, who has returned to the Czech Republic after many years abroad. “Among other things we are planning the 3D printing of bones, in which the ink will contain ceramic microgranules which at high temperatures will bind together while the remains of the “ink” are degraded”. Microgranules fuse and form an implant, while the ink, which is only for the purposes of printing and does not have any added value for the patient, disappears. Salamon confirms that “research cannot be carried out without contact with other professions and the market”.