Scientists at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a new biomaterial made from bull frog skin and fish scales. It helps in the repair of bones.
A porous biomaterial containing the same compounds that predominate in bones acts as a building block for bone-forming cells. They attach to the material and multiply, which leads to the formation of new bone.
In laboratory experiments, the Singaporean NTU team found that bone-forming cells seeded on the biomaterial successfully attached and began to multiply, which is a sign of growth. They also found that the risk of the biomaterial triggering an inflammatory response was virtually nil.
The material can be used for the regeneration of bone tissue lost as a result of illness or injury, for example, with defects in the jaw after trauma or oncological surgery. It can also promote bone growth around surgical implants, such as dental implants.
The research team has filed patents for the use of the biomaterial for wound healing and bone engineering. The group is now evaluating the long-term safety and efficacy of the biomaterial as a dental product. Scientists want to make the production chain completely waste-free.
In laboratory experiments, they found that the number of cells increased significantly. After a week, the cells were evenly distributed – this is an indicator that the material can promote proper cellular activity and ultimately lead to tissue formation.