Scientists in Switzerland’s Lausanne University Hospital have used a polymer material to repair or replace damaged and broken bones.
Trials at the hospital show that the substance made of polymer and ceramic supports bone cells as they repair.
At present, bone grafts from a patient’s own body or a donor are used, with the latter carrying additional risk of disease. Tests using human bone fragments found that bone cells colonised the material over three to four weeks and multiplied. Surgeons can also sculpt it into predetermined forms, and if the trials are a success it could be available within five years.