The body can heal minor bone injuries itself – but with major injuries, it needs help. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have developed a process called Selective Laser Melting (SLM) by which a razor-thin laser beam melts pulverized material layer-by-layer to produce structures that may be as delicate as 80 to 100 micrometers. The porous canals create a lattice structure which the adjacent bones can grow into. Its basic structure consists of the synthetic polylactide, or PLA for short. Stored granules from tricalcium phosphate (TCP) ensure rigidity and stimulate the bone‘s natural healing process. As pastes, granulates and semi-finished products, TCP and PLA already have proven to be degradable implants. The body can catabolize both substances as rapidly as the natural bones can regrow. But the material can only be applied in places where it will not be subject to severe stress: Thus, the »Resobone« implants will primarily replace missing facial, maxillary and cranial bones
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