Doctors suggest stapling broken bones using silk – American doctors suggest to replace the metal brackets and screws used for fastening broken bones , using them as ” biosimilars ” of silk, which disappear completely within a few weeks after surgery, according to an article published in the journal Nature Communications.
For complex fractures doctors often conduct operations and bone fragments bind with metal brackets and screws , which help them grow together properly . The appearance of such foreign elements inside the body produces a lot of discomfort for patients – they often cause inflammation of the tissues , as well as contribute to the appearance of cracks in the bones.
Furthermore, often these brackets and screws have to be removed from the body, which is associated with additional problems for people .
David Kaplan of Tufts University in Medford (USA) and his colleagues have found a solution for this problem by preparing analogues of these brackets and screws from special silk fibers with high strength and flexibility and does not cause irritation and inflammation of the tissues of the body.
To do this, scientists have made a special polymer -based silk solution and used it to cast their brackets and fastening screws. Depending on the structure of single molecules of silk, such items may exist inside the body from a couple weeks to several months .
According to scientists , silk brackets and screws have approximately the same strength as their metal counterparts, but they remain flexible and do not damage the bones , which are attached .
Scientists tested them in several rats suffering from fractures of the front and hind limbs , as well as splits and cracks in the hip bones. Four weeks after the experiment has successfully fused bone , and after 8 weeks of staples and screws completely dissolved by the action of enzymes in the body .
Scientists believe the successful completion of this experiment paves the way for the use of silk brackets and screws in real surgical practice.