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Medical Bone grafts

  1. Jun 7, 2011 #1
    Ok, so one problem with space is that bones lose mass, making them weak. Could one way around this (and osteoperosis on Earth) be to graft somekind of metal plating onto the bone structure to reinforce it in some way?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2011 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Staff: Mentor

    Bone is dynamic tissue, rather than being fixed it is constantly in a state of wear and regrowth. Without mechanical stimulation this process is disrupted and bone atrophies. Thanks to Wolff's law metal plates (or any reinforcement) will cause stress shielding. This means that because the reinforcing material is taking some mechanical strain off of the bone the bone will wear away.

    Prosthetic implants are rather crude because they are fixed, non-adaptive materials. As for osteoporosis treatments using strontium renelate have shown some promise by stimulating osteoblasts and inhibiting osteoclasts.
     
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