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Build-a Bone

Improved scaffold for promoting bone healing after injury

28 October 2021

Build-a Bone

A hard blow to the face or skull can cause damage to the bone, often difficult to repair due to the multiple cell types that contribute to the healing process and the usually irregular shape of the defect. This is where collagen scaffolds come in. Engineered to stimulate the formation of new connective tissue, the scaffolds are made from components found in bone such as calcium, phosphate ions and sugar compounds. To improve their collagen scaffold, researchers investigated how the use of different sugar compounds in their scaffold affected processes involved in bone regeneration. This included stem cell activity, the growth of immune cells and the growth of blood vessels. The latter is often overlooked when optimising scaffolds. Pictured is a coloured electron microscope image of the group’s scaffold, complete with thread-like collagen fibres.

Written by Katy Pallister

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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