This week in glass news, scientists at the Imperial College London and the University of Milano-Bicocca have developed a new bio-glass that may replace damaged cartilage. The bio-glass is made of silica and a polymer called polycaprolactone. The researchers can formulate the glass to copy the load-bearing and shock-absorbing qualities of cartilage, and it has shown self-healing properties. The researchers hope to use it to replace damaged cartilage between spinal vertebrae in the near future, creating disc implants that will allow better range of movement for patients compared to current treatments. It reportedly has also shown promise in stimulating regrowth of cartilage cells in the knee by being turned into a biodegradable ink form that can be used in 3D printing for medical devices.
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