RegenTec, a British company, has developed artificial ‘injectable bone’ that flows like toothpaste, and hardens in the body. The hardened paste creates a scaffold upon which blood vessels and living bone tissue can attach. The paste can also be infused with medications and perhaps stem cells if the current testing pans out.
Other materials used in this way heat up as they cure and kill surrounding tissues. The RegenTec injectable bone is a mix of ceramic and polylactic acid which cures at body temperature. The injectable bone may eventually reduce or eliminate the need surgery for bone grafts to repair skeletal defects and fractures and allow some patients to heal fractures without a cast.
While trials are underway in Britain and Australia, it is not expected to be approved for use in the US until the end of 2010.