The head of the Hybrid Nanostructured Materials Laboratory at NUST MISIS Alexander Komissarov. Credit: Maria Brodskaya/NUST MISIS
Many myeloma patients deal with bone issues including fractures. Scientists from the National University of Science and Technology MISIS and the University of Western Australia have created a biodegradable metal combination (using magnesium, gallium and zinc) in temporary placement implants for myeloma patients and those with other bone-related issues like osteoporosis and Paget's disease.
Newer techniques for implants include the use of biodegradable implants, which can gradually dissolve and be replaced by body tissue. The innovative approach helps minimize inflammation and eliminates the need for implant removal. In the research published in the Journal of Magnesium and Alloys, the researchers noted that the use of magnesium alloys are particularly compatible with the human body, are sufficiently strong, properly biodegrade and are close to the density and elasticity of human bone.
The Russian and Australian researchers used the implants for patients to create a temporary "skeleton" that is safe to replace damage bone. The implant stimulates new bone growth and as the new bone tissue grows, it is "dissolved" by the body.
Gallium was chosen to stop bone resorption and is helpful in treating disorders with bone loss including osteoporosis, hypercalcemia and myeloma. It is also involved in the regeneration process and increases the thickness, strength and mineral content of the bone. Gallium is also antibacterial.
The new implants have a low rate of biocorrosion, which means they decompose at a rate that supports the healing process and doesn't decompose too quickly.
The team is working on future lab experiments and is preparing for the preclinical stage of research. We hope new technologies like this come sooner than later to the myeloma clinic.
about the author
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of Myeloma Crowd by HealthTree and the HealthTree Foundation.