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Concept of application new technology in future medicine

3D-printed scaffolds for bone regeneration

In this project, we are developing 3D-printed polymer-based scaffolds to treat, the difficult treated, non-union fractures and segmental bone defects occurring in long bones after injury or due to disease like bone cancer.

Challenge. Current solutions for the treatment of non-union fractures or large segmental bone defects of long bones are suboptimal and only solve the problem partially. Following the treatment, patients often suffer from chronic pain, are immobilized because of it and become dependent on pain killers. Our solution allows replacing larger bone fragments and whole sections of bone with permanent, mechanically resistant scaffold capable of instant interaction with surrounding tissues.

Technology. The first bone regeneration technology is taking into consideration the need for vascularization of the scaffold, providing structure and environment for the development of new blood vessels and physical connection of the existing ones.

  • Tailor-made, first biodegradable polymer scaffold mimicking long bone anatomy created using a 3D-printing method.
  • The biocompatible scaffold made of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) LLA and є-caprolactone (CL-co-LLA).
  • The scaffold can be filled with hydrogels or fibrous materials.
  • Mechanical and surface properties of a scaffold match those of the bone tissues and are guiding cell attachment.
  • The combination of the cutting-edge technology of 3D printing with low-temperature cross-linkable hydrogels permits fabrication of complex functional 3D-bioscaffolds.

Commercial opportunity. The market for novel bone replacement and regeneration technologies is constantly growing, and aging population is one of the factors contributing to the growth. Only in the EU and USA, about 0.5 million patients are suffering from non-union-fractures or segmental bone defects, which are qualified for surgical intervention.

This total market is valued between 750-1 250 million € annually.

Development status. The scaffold has been successfully tested in the rat model. As the next step in 2019-2020, the technology will be tested in a large animal model. Currently, we are preparing for testing the scaffold in a minipig model before we move to a sheep model.

Patent situation. The patent application was filed in the UK on March 10, 2017. At the moment, the application is in the PCT phase: PCT/ EP2018/056124.

We are looking for research and development collaboration or licensing partner who would offer market access in all major markets (i.e., Europe, USA).
For any inquiries, please contact the project manager at VIS: Malgorzata Barczyk (; +47 480 82 052)

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Employees in VIS ›
  • Helse Bergen
  • Paper and Fibre Research Institute (PFI)
  • Universitätsklinikum Würzburg
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