Tag Archives: bone

Wooden bones

If you wanted to build artificial bones, what material would you use? I don’t know about you, but wood wouldn’t have been high up my list.

To create the bone substitute, the scientists start with a block of wood — red oak, rattan and sipo work best — and heat it until all that remains is pure carbon, which is basically charcoal.


The scientists then spray calcium over the carbon, creating calcium carbide. Additional chemical and physical steps convert the calcium carbide into carbonated hydroxyapatite, which can then be implanted and serves as the artificial bone.

The entire process takes about one week and costs about $850 for a single block. One block translates to about one bone implant.

I’ve no idea how that compares with other artificial bone manufacture techniques on price and speed, but it’s still fairly impressive on novelty value alone. [via SlashDot]

We can rebuild you! Injectable artificial bone paste developed

cross-section of a human hip boneI’m lucky enough to have never needed one (touch wood), but I’m told that bone grafts are extremely painful procedures that invite the risk of further damage to surrounding areas. So I can see the logic behind RegenTec’s injectable artificial bone compound, which will be pretty handy stuff if it works as it’s supposed to:

The technology’s superiority over existing alternatives is the novel hardening process and strength of the bond, said Quirk. Older products heat up as they harden, killing surrounding cells, whereas ‘injectable bone’ hardens at body temperature – without generating heat – making a very porous, biodegradable structure.

Putting on our science-fictional speculative hats for a moment, what sort of uses might the street find for this stuff? I’ll start with back-alley cosmetic surgeons offering quick-to-heal height increases. [image by patrix]