Bone Graft Scaffolds with High-Strength and High-Porosity


Market:  Damage to bone, whether caused by trauma or disease sometimes requires implantation of a scaffold to guide repair.  Spinal fusions, reconstruction after cancer, and dental repairs are but a few examples of procedures that might utilize bone graft scaffolding.  According to a March, 2009 PearlDiver Report, the bone graft substitute market is $1.5 billion.


Competitors and Current Problems:  Ceramic scaffolds are used as grafts for bone tissue engineering.  Ideally, an engineered ceramic scaffold should have compressive strength similar to that of natural bone, and should also have completely interconnected pores to allow invasion of live cells.  Typically porosity reduces scaffold compressive strength, and the scaffold fabrication process can introduce microscopic fractures, increasing the risk of mechanical failure.

The Technology:  A researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, has developed a new method for the manufacturing of biodegradable ceramic scaffolds using traditional bio-ceramic components.  This method reduces the fractures created during scaffold fabrication, resulting in increased mechanical strength.  The porosity of the scaffolds using this method can be varied based on the application.  For instance, porosity can be lowered (~20%) to mimic cortical bone, or scaffold porosity can be increased (70-80%) to mimic cancellous bone.  Likewise, a single scaffold containing multiple pore sizes can be created in a single casting, so that degradation rates and elution rates of bioactive agents loaded into the scaffold can be better sustained.  Compressive strength comparisons have shown dual layered scaffolding to have as strong, or stronger, compressive strength relative to bone, and animal studies using a rabbit radial model demonstrate superior healing. This novel scaffold fabrication process is amenable with all implant shapes, making it suitable for various applications.



UTHealth Ref. No.: 2009-0052; 2009-0053


Inventors: Dr. Yunzhi (Peter) Yang


Patent Status:  WO2009151604; US20080226893


License Available: world-wide; exclusive or non-exclusive


Patent Information:

The preceding is intended to be a non-confidential and limited description of a novel technology created at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). This promotional material is not comprehensive in scope and should not replace company’s diligence in a thorough evaluation of the technology. Please contact the Office of Technology Management for more information regarding this technology.
Medical Devices
For Information, Contact:
Danielle Martinez
Technology Licensing Associate
University of Texas Health Science Center At Houston
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