Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have achieved a breakthrough in bone regeneration by successfully using a novel “bone bandage” on mice. The team created a freestanding biomimetic scaffold that combines a piezoelectric framework with the growth-promoting properties of hydroxyapatite (HAp), a naturally occurring mineral in bones.

Piezoelectric materials, like bone, generate an electric charge in response to mechanical stress, playing a crucial role in the bone repair process. The innovative approach involves integrating HAp within the piezoelectric framework of polyvinylidene fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene (P(VDF-TrFE)), a polymer film, to create an independent scaffold. This scaffold generates electrical signals when pressure is applied, setting it apart from previous research and providing a versatile platform for bone regeneration.

In vitro comparisons of scaffolds with and without HAp revealed higher cell attachment, proliferation, and osteogenesis on the HAp scaffolds. The researchers then tested the HAp/P(VDF-TrFE) scaffolds on mice with defects in their skull bones, resulting in significantly enhanced bone regeneration compared to control groups. The scaffolds were maintained for six weeks without deformation, and no adverse events, including infection or inflammatory response, were observed.

The study’s corresponding author, Seungbum Hong, emphasized the significance of the research, stating, “We have developed a HAp-based piezoelectric composite material that can act like a ‘bone bandage,’ accelerating bone regeneration. This research not only suggests a new direction for designing biomaterials but is also significant in having explored the effects of piezoelectricity and surface properties on bone regeneration.”

By Impact Lab