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'Injectable Bone' Made to Heal Breaks

in a Hurry
by: Eric Bland, Discovery News
Dec. 31, 2008 -- It can take months for
bones to heal after even a small break. Now
a U.K. company, RegenTec, hopes to speed
up the healing process by injecting a white
powder designed to seal broken bones
together in minutes.
"You won't be able to just walk out of a
hospital with a broken leg," said Robin Quirk,
a professor at the University of Nottingham
who, along with Kevin Shakesheff in the United States, originally developed the
technology. "What we are trying to do in the short term is have something that fills
the void left by a break that acts like normal spongy bone and encourages natural
The proprietary mix of ceramic and polylactic acid is called, for now, Injectable
At room temperature, it is an inert white powder. Once injected into a break site
with a needle stick, however, the body's higher temperature causes the two
materials to fuse together in a hard, spongy mass much like living bone.
Injectable Bone isn't the only bone glue out there. Others exist, although they have
some problems. In some cases they harden in a solid mass or raise body
temperature at the injection site enough to damage nearby tissue.
Injectable Bone could actually encourage bone growth, when bone-producing cells
and growth-encouraging drugs are mixed in with the powder mixture. The cells fill
up the holes with natural bone as the Injectable Bone degrades into lactic acid, a
compound produced naturally by the body.
"We can actually control the rate of degradation to tailor it to the individual's
healing," said Quirk.
Injectable Bone isn't meant to permanently replace natural bone, just give the body
time to repair.
Multiple fractures on the same bone can be difficult to set and heal property. To
hold the bone fragments in proper alignment, doctors place surgical pins and rods
that can be painful to remove. Injectable Bone could replace the metal surgical pins
currently used to help bone heal, its makers say.

It won't, however, allow patients to forego plaster casts. The glue binds bone
together but isn't strong enough to bear weight.
Injectable Bone should sell well, said Jennifer Elisseef, a professor at Johns Hopkins
University. Elisseef has her own company, Cartilix, that focuses on materials to
replace broken cartilage.
"There is a lot of interest in bone filler materials from clinicians and from the
military," said Elisseef.
RegenTec claims it will have Injectable Bone stateside within 18 months. That's an
optimistic number, said Elisseef, adding that FDA approval will likely take longer
than that.
In the long run, Injectable Bone could also become Injectable Heart, said Quirk:
"Following a heart attack...the appropriate cells could be delivered to help re-grow
Discovery News:


Apr 8, 2011 | By Ryan Devon
Photo Credit skeleton image

More than 30 percent of women over the age of 50 will suffer

from osteoporosis at some time in their lives, the International
Osteoporosis Foundation states. Osteoporosis is the result of low
bone mineral density, which causes weak and brittle bones.
Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of a healthy and
osteoporosis-resistant skeletal system.

It's widely known that consuming dairy products like yogurt and
cheese is good for your skeleton. Most of the bony benefits that
come from dairy's rich calcium content. As the cement that builds
the foundation of your bones, calcium is also needed for other
bodily functions like muscle contractions. If you don't get enough
from your diet, then your body leeches the calcium stored in your bones. In addition to
dairy, good sources of calcium include green leafy vegetables, broccoli and almonds.
Adults should aim for 1,200 mg of dietary calcium per day.
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More than half of the magnesium stored inside your body is found in your skeletal
system. But the Office of Dietary Supplements adds that many people don't reach their
daily magnesium target of 400 mg for men and 310 mg for women. Magnesium is crucial
for healthy calcium metabolism. Sources of dietary magnesium include fatty fish, soy,
whole grains, yogurt and potatoes.

Vitamin D is crucial for skeletal system health, as it boosts your body's absorption and
utilization of calcium. Adequate blood levels of vitamin D also prevent the loss of calcium
in the urine. People who are dark skinned, live in the Northern Hemisphere or avoid
sunlight are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency. Adults should aim for 600 IU per day.
Besides supplements and sunlight, sources of vitamin D include seafood, mushrooms,
dairy and vitamin D fortified orange juice.

Omega-3 fatty acids from foods like oily fish and flaxseeds are well known for their antiinflammatory properties. A study on animals in the June 2003 "Prostaglandins,
Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids" found that a diet rich in omega-3 fats boosted
bone formation by reducing inflammation, which interferes with the activity of cells called
osteoblasts that create new bone tissue. However, no human research has replicated
the results of this study.

International Osteoporosis Foundation: Facts and statistics about osteoporosis and its
Centers For Disease Controls and Prevention: Calcium and Bone Health
Office of Dietary Supplements: Magnesium
Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin D
"Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids"; Modulatory effect of omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on osteoblast function and bone metabolism; B
Watkins et al.; June 2003
Article reviewed by CPerry Last updated on: Apr 8, 2011


Dec 23, 2010 | By Riana Rohmann

Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Different sporting activities have different effects on the skeletal

system. The skeletal system consists of bones and ligaments and
is responsible for posture and structural support of your body. Just
like muscles, bones must be exercised to remain strong. Generally,
high impact sports increase bone density, decrease chances of
developing osteoporosis, decrease risk of fracture and help
maintain a healthy posture. But too much repetitive impact without
recovery can have detrimental effects on your skeleton. There are
even some types of sports that can decrease bone density.


High impact sports involve a variation of running or sprinting, jumping and pounding with
the legs or other parts of the body. Examples of high impact sports include basketball,
soccer, football, gymnastics and dancing. The repetitive pounding places a stress on the
bones, which causes tiny micro damages to the surface of the bone. These tears
stimulate new bone growth to calcify over the micro tears, resulting in a higher bone
mineral density. According to Medical News Today, participating in high impact sports
while you are young can keep bones stronger as you age, decreasing the risk of
developing osteoporosis.


In a study published in "Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise," researchers
examined the spinal and femoral bone density of competitive road cyclists compared to a
control group. Even though the competitive cyclists had significantly less body weight
and more muscle mass, their bone density was significantly lower than their inactive
counterparts, indicating that consistent cycling can, in fact, lower bone density. The other
sport to be wary of is swimming. These sports are non-weight bearing, therefore the
bones get no impact, and consequently no extra growth. Even though cycling and
swimming build cardiovascular and muscular endurance, they should not be your only
mode of exercise.

When high-impact athletes get to the point of constantly exercising without adequate rest
time, the bone rebuilding process becomes interrupted and the structure of the bone
weakens. According to the Stretching Institute, stress fractures can occur when a
repetitive or unnatural stress is placed on the bone, which can happen during increases
in intensity, time or frequency of sport participation. You need to allow yourself to rest
and recover and implement adequate transitions into higher intensity exercise in order to
preserve the density of the bone.


The female athlete triad is a condition that affects many female athletes who participate
in highly competitive sports such as gymnastics, figure skating, running and dancing.
The Female Athlete Triad Coalition states that it involves three medical issues that are
usually all present at the same time. Under-nourishment due to increased activity and
not enough energy intake or because of emphasis on body composition is the first factor.
This leads to low body weight and loss of menstrual cycle, the second. These together
contribute to the third, a decrease in bone density due to hormonal changes, increasing
risk of stress fractures and osteoporosis at a very young age. Proper nutrition and
adequate recovery need to be placed on highly competitive female athletes to keep the
triad from happening.

Medical News Today: Impact Sports Increase Bone Strength in Senior Athletes
"Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise"; Bone density comparisons in male
competitive road cyclists and untrained controls; Smathers AM, Bemben MG,
Bemben DA; February 2009
The Stretching Institute: Stress Fractures and Stress Fracture Treatments
The Female Athlete Triad Coalition: Female Athlete Triad
Article reviewed by GlennK Last updated on: Dec 23, 2010

Bone health: Tips to keep your bones healthy

Protecting your bone health is easier than you
think. Understand how diet, physical activity
and other lifestyle factors can affect your bone
By Mayo Clinic staff May 01, 1999
Bones play many roles in the body providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring
muscles and storing calcium. While it's particularly important to take steps to build strong
and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during
adulthood to protect bone health, too.

Why is bone health important?

Your bones are continuously changing new bone is made and old bone is broken
down. When you're young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old
bone and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass around
age 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more than you gain.
How likely you are to develop osteoporosis a condition that causes bones to become
weak and brittle depends on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach
age 30 and how rapidly you lose it later. The higher your peak bone mass, the more
bone you have "in the bank" and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you

What affects bone health?

A number of factors can affect bone health some modifiable and some not. For
The amount of calcium in your diet. A diet low in calcium contributes to
diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
Physical activity level. People who are physically inactive have a higher risk of
osteoporosis than do their more-active counterparts.
Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. Research suggests that
tobacco use contributes to weak bones. Similarly, regularly having more than two
alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of osteoporosis, possibly because alcohol
can interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium.

Being a woman. Women have less bone tissue than do men.

Getting older. Your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.
Race, frame size and family history. You're at greatest risk of osteoporosis if
you're white or of Asian descent. You're also at greater risk if you're extremely thin
(with a body mass index of 19 or less) or have a small body frame because you
may have less bone mass to draw from as you age. In addition, having a parent or
sibling who has osteoporosis puts you at greater risk especially if you also have
a family history of fractures.

What can I do to keep my bones healthy?

You can take steps to prevent or slow bone loss. For example:
Include plenty of calcium in your diet. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages
51 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a
day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and
older and men age 71 and older. Dietary sources of calcium include diary products,
almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products,
such as tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your
doctor about calcium supplements.
Pay attention to vitamin D. For adults ages 19 to 70, the Institute of Medicine
recommends 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D a day. The recommendation
increases to 800 IUs a day for adults age 71 and older. Although many people get
adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight, this may not be a good source for
everyone. Other sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as tuna and sardines,
egg yolks, fortified milk, and vitamin D supplements.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises, such
as walking, jogging, tennis and climbing stairs, can help you build strong bones
and slow bone loss.
If you're concerned about your bone health or your risk factors for osteoporosis, consult
your doctor. He or she may recommend a bone density test. The results will help your
doctor gauge your bone density and determine your rate of bone loss.
The Mayo Clinic: