UK researchers explore new strategies to treat spinal injuries

15 May 2014 (Last Updated May 15th, 2014 05:22)

Engineers at the UK's University of Portsmouth are researching new ways to treat patients affected by vertebral fractures.

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Engineers at the UK's University of Portsmouth are researching new ways to treat patients affected by vertebral fractures.

Aiming to improve surgical outcomes and patient care, the research will evaluate the efficacy of new bioactive materials, which will help form new bone in the treated vertebra over time compared with traditional products currently in use.

As part of the research, engineers are also are trying to understand how the spine treated with the new biomaterials will behave in post-operative scenarios.

"The materials we're testing are the latest bioactive formulations, which have the ability to enhance new bone formation."

The research is expected to help understand the mechanical factors involved in the augmentation vertebrae and assess how well patients are likely to recover after being treated with the new materials.

University of Portsmouth's School of Engineering faculty Dr Gianluca Tozzi said the research investigates how vertebrae in the spine behave following surgery and how their mechanical performance can be influenced by the injection of different biomaterials.

"The materials we're testing are the latest bioactive formulations, which have the ability to enhance new bone formation," Tozzi said.

"This means that the progressive integration of these biomaterials with the surrounding bone may enable the growth of new bone and lead to complete recovery of the functionality of the spine."


Image: Research will evaluate new bioactive materials, which help form new bone in the treated vertebra. Photo: courtesy of University of Portsmouth.