Bioactive Composites Reinforced by 3D-Printable Foams

Professor Harley from the University of Illinois and his collaborators have developed a unique bioactive composite structure for use in the regenerative repair of craniomaxillofacial bone injuries. This bioactive composite material is based on a 3D-printable foam which can be generated to fit complex shapes, features mechanical properties that can be tailored to match the physical properties of the bone at the surgical site, and can maintain their physical properties after being further shaped intraoperatively. When included within the bioactive composite structure this modular fiber mesh both passively aids surgical-practicality and actively accelerates regenerative healingreinforcement. More specifically, these bioactive composites supported human bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stemcell osteogenesis and new bone formation.Importantly, this bioactive composite does not suffer from the drawbacks of autologous bone or alloplastic implants, the current clinical gold standard for repair. Moreover, unlike current biomaterials this biomaterial composite has not demonstrated the release of any negative degradation by products, such as metal ions or acids.