Cuban scientists have brought beyond the laboratory test phase new biomaterial composites for the regeneration of bone tissue, which are, because of the issue of ageing populations, the subject of much international interest.

Having successfully passed laboratory evaluations, the products should undergo pre-clinical testing on animals and depending on those results, finally begin to be tested on a group of patients.

Because of their relevance, the studies were recently awarded one of the 2015 National Science Academy of Cuba awards.

The result has been achieved by a team of researchers led by the Doctor in Chemical Sciences, Yaimara Solís and Doctor of Science, Carlos Peniche, from the Bio-materials Center at the University of Havana (Biomat in Spanish).

According to the experts’ explanation, the novel bio-materials are based on natural polymers of chitosan and nano apatite that are biologically more similar to bone tissue structure.

Cuban scientists have brought beyond the laboratory test phase new biomaterial composites for the regeneration of bone tissue, which are, because of the issue of ageing populations, the subject of much international interest.The significance of the work has been recognized by leading international scientific journals that reported the participation of Dr. Natalia Davidenko from the department of Material and Metal Sciences at Cambridge University in the U.K. and Dr. Raúl García Carrodeguas from the Glass and Ceramics Institute of the Higher Scientific Research Council of Spain.

Experts from the Sao Paulo University Basic Science Department’s Faculty of Food Engineering and Zootechnics and the Health Sciences Institute Federal University of Bahia in Brazil, also played a role.

After decades of research that resulted in two types of bio-material based on hydroxyapatite; the principal inorganic component of bone, this represents another important step forward for Cuban science.

One of the products, under the commercial name of Coralina HAP-200, is the work of the National Scientific Research Center and comes from white coral which is plentiful on Cuba’s island platform.

Colarina HAP-200 has to date been used by more than 20,000 patients in need of bone implants in the orthopedic, traumatological, dental, maxillofacial and neuro-surgical specialties and in the reconstruction of eyeballs lost due to tumors, traumas or surgical sequelae with favorable clinical and aesthetic outcomes.

The second product, a Biomast creation, consists of a synthetic hydroxyapatite called Apafill-G, which is basically applied as filling in alveolar and cystic cavities, the fixing of intraosseous dental implants and in pulp capping for the rehabilitation of radicular injury and craniotomy.

Nevertheless, as is also the case with those created in other countries, both biomaterials present some disadvantages, among which are, poor mechanical resistance, slow kinetic reabsorption in comparison to the surrounding tissue and a certain fragility.

Doctors Solís and Peniche have confirmed that the new natural polymers of chitosan and nano apatitebased formulations exhibit superior osteo-conductivity, homogeneity, bioactivity and biodegradable properties.

They also present a composition very similar to the bone tissue for repair or replacement. The experts consider that in comparison to the bio-materials that preceded them, they open new horizons for future therapeutic applications in the fields of orthopedics and traumatology.

In an interview with this newspaper, Doctor Solis said that because they are also mucoadhesive, they hold the filling particles where they have been placed, enhancing the effectively and efficacy of the implant.

According to international evaluations, the growing number of people of 60 years or over means that bone diseases will occupy an increasingly greater space amongst the most frequent medical problems worldwide.

According to those in the know, the use of bio-materials is also becoming important given the need to respond to a growing incidence of osteoporosis, joint disorders and other orthopedic conditions.

Traumatic injuries caused by increased traffic accidents, natural disasters and armed conflicts around the world can be added to the above list.

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