Copper Bioactive Glass Implant to treat bone infection

A group of researchers for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland have developed a form of glass implant which uses a high amount of copper – said to treat the bone infection osteomyelitis. 

The team discovered that bioactive glass with copper is able to promote bone growth and kill bacteria simultaneously, and therefore no need for antibiotics or further treatment. It works by attracting blood cells and bone cells to the source so increase bone growth rapidly, whilst fighting the chance of bacteria growing and spreading. They have claimed it will speed the healing process and is a major improvement on current treatments. 

“Osteomyelitis is notoriously difficult to treat,” said first author Emily Ryan, a recently qualified PhD student in the RCSI Department of Anatomy. “Further work on the back of this research could lead to the complete development of a single-stage, off-the-shelf treatment. This in turn could reduce the need for antibiotics and bone grafting – thus also addressing issues with antibiotic resistance.”

“We are looking forward to developing and testing this treatment for osteomyelitis and for other infections too,” said principal investigator, Fergal O’Brien, Professor of Bioengineering & Regenerative Medicine in RCSI’s Department of Anatomy. “This platform system could be further modified and used to deliver a variety of other non-antibiotic antimicrobial metal ion-doped minerals.”

You can read more here: The Engineer

Photo Credit: The Engineer





February 1, 2019



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