The surgeons orthopedic have been using so far metal plates bolted to hold the bones unstable broken. However, this could soon change, as scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology KTH (Sweden) are working on a less inconvenient alternative with a light-curing composite material.
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Today’s metal plates stabilize broken bones, but they have certain drawbacks. One of them is the complexity of molding them so that they adapt the necessary shape for each patient. Normally, hospitals have plates of different sizes and shapes so that this inconvenience is not so problematic.
Another disadvantage is the potential for the soft tissues surrounding the plate to adhere over time. This causes, among other things, a loss of mobility of the patient.
The AdhFix system proposed in the Swedish institute’s research would be more customizable than the traditional method.
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The team explains that to use it, surgeons would insert screws into the sections of bone that need stability, leaving the screw heads protruding. Then, a temporarily soft and malleable patch would be made that would use the screw heads as anchor points.
When surgeons obtained the custom size and shape of the patient, they would expose the patch to a high energy LED visible light source . This would make the material harden in a short time, as if it were a metal plate.
The AdhFix patch is made up of alternating layers of a polyethylene fiber mesh and a polymer / hydroxyapatite compound very similar to putty. These materials are medically approved.
They conducted various tests on corpses before testing with living beings.They conducted various tests on corpses before testing with living beings.KTH Royal Institute of Technology
To test the technique devised in the study, human cadaver hands with bills on the finger bones were used . In the test, the fingers resisted repeated flexion exercises thanks to the AdhFix patches.
Later, the experiment was performed on fractured femurs of live laboratory rats. In this case, the test was also effective and showed that bone healing did not have adverse effects such as soft tissue adhesion.
At the moment, the AdhFix technology is being financed by Biomedical Bondings and it is expected that throughout this decade it will already be available. It is estimated that in 2022 they will already use it in veterinary medicine and that in 2024 it will begin to be used in humans.