New biomaterial can regenerate bones and prevent infections

Scientists at the Universidad Católica de Valencia’s (UCV) Bioengineering and Biomaterials Laboratory in Spain have created a new porous biomaterial for 3D printing that can regenerate bones while also preventing infections. The biotech creations, which are custom-made for each case using 3D printing, include a bioactive alginate coating. This coating promotes bone regeneration and kills bacteria that can prevent bone formation from being completed.

Because the material is biodegradable, it eventually disappears from the body after the bone has been regenerated. The research was conducted on small animals, specifically rabbits. The following step will be to test larger animals and, eventually, humans.

The American Chemical Society’s ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces journal published the UCV study (ACS). The work was done in collaboration with a number of institutions.

New biomaterial for 3D Printing

Ángel Serrano, head of the UCV Bioengineering and Biomaterials Laboratory, led the team that developed the new biomaterial for 3D printing, which also included Iván Serra (UCV Veterinary Hospital), Mar Llorens (Universidad Politécnica de Valencia), Sanjukta Deb (King’s College, London), and researchers Pablo Vercet and Virginia Chicote.

The study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Innovation’s State Research Agency and the Fundación Universidad Católica San Vicente Mártir.

Other developments

Serrano’s team also created the first filters capable of inactivating SARS-CoV-2 and other enveloped viruses like influenza in under a minute. The technology enabled the development of the FFPCOVID MASK, a mask manufactured and distributed by the Valencian company Visormed.

Serrano has also received patents for new biodegradable materials with antimicrobial properties for use in a variety of biomedical applications. Tissue engineering is used to regenerate bone and other tissues. Another of his discoveries is that pure carbon nanofibers have antibacterial and antiviral properties. These can be used in other industrially important materials like alginate and poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate), also known as PHBV, which are non-toxic, biodegradable, biocompatable and renewable.