The latest State of Research podcast looks at the School of Advanced Materials Discovery, where researchers work with 3D printers to create a material that’s almost chemically identical to bone.
Inside the laboratories of the School of Advanced Materials Discovery, researchers work with 3D printers to create a material that’s almost chemically identical to bone, a method that could have significant medical applications.
Nelson Isaacson, a graduate student researcher working with mechanical engineering professor David Prawel, is researching how to make this bone-like material stronger so it can be used in surgeries with patients facing bone damage, in places like the hips and legs that bear considerable weight.
Isaacson, who previously worked in the automation industry, came to CSU interested in advancing society through research. Our conversation with Isaacson revealed the challenges that come with creating artificial bones in a lab. Through this work, he has become astonished at how effective human bodies are at engineering the bones inside of us.
By printing this material in different ways, Isaacson hopes to create a stronger end-product.
“I’m looking at finding ways to print it in different configurations and different structural designs,” Isaacson said. “We’re aiming for cortical bone which is the strongest type of bone we have.”
The goal is to make this material bioresorbable, which means that, once implanted, the bone-like material will incorporate itself into the existing bone and become virtually unnoticeable.
The idea is that a year or two after surgery, “you wouldn’t be able to see that it was artificial,” Isaacson said.
Listen to the full story on The State of Research podcast, which is available on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.