Tissue Repair Material Made with Polymer Sponges
Lehigh University Office of Technology Transfer
posted on 05/16/2012
One of the great challenges of the 21st Century is increasing life expectancy, while at the same time maintaining quality of life in an ageing population. Regenerative medicine is, therefore, a new strategy that is being developed to repair damaged or diseased tissues to their original state or function. By helping natural healing processes to work faster or by using special materials with human cell cultures, scaffolds act as three dimensional templates for cell growth and differentiation and formation of living tissues. Scaffolds containing dual porosity have been claimed to exhibit a better performance in terms of crystallization of hydroxycarbonate apatite.
This invention by Lehigh University provides a method based on sol-gel processing and polymerization-induced phase separation for preparing a silica-based bioactive scaffold consisting of interconnected pores of hundreds of micrometers and several to tens of nanometers in size. This is optimal for bone regeneration performance and is a cheap and versatile method which leads to structurally stronger materials than ones achieved by other methods.
Lehigh Tech ID#031510-01
While tissue scaffold engineering for bone and cartilage repair may not be a new development, there is still an immediate window of opportunity for such technologies. This is due not only to the size of the global bone replacement material market, which is around $2B as of 2010, but also due to the aging baby-boomer population and the need for more innovative and effective bone replacement and grafting techniques. 
 "Bioactive Technologies for Bone Replacement," Medical Devices Today web site, http://www.medicaldevicestoday.com/2010/06/bioactive-technologies-for-bone-replacement.html, accessed September 2, 2010.
Lehigh University is interested in identifying an industry partner focused on application specific projects.
File Number: 031510-01
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