Ceramics and metals have been used for a while as structural materials to repair bones and joints. In the past, scientists engineered bioinert materials, which do not bond to bones directly; bioactive materials that can bond to bones; and bio-absorbable materials that are categorized in bioactive materials but they are absorbed by the body over time and are replaced by advancing bone tissue.
Now, a fourth type of bone repairing materials has been found: a bio-responsive ceramic that interacts with an enzyme found in blood to be absorbed into the body at a precise and predictable rate.
The research was done by Taishi Yokoi, an associate professor at the Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and his colleagues. The study was published in May in Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.
“Extending healthy life expectancy is an important issue for all of us,” Yokoi says. “Bone repairing materials aid in the recovery of bone defects and help improve quality of life.”
At the heart of this discovery is a biological reaction: an enzyme called alkaline phosphatase (ALP), which is present in human serum and reacts with various phosphate esters to generate bone mineral known as hydroxyapatite.
The scientists mimicked this process using a simulated body fluid that contained the enzyme ALP. They placed four different salts in a simulated body fluid containing or lacking the enzyme ALP. The salts were calcium salts of methyl phosphate (CaMeP), ethyl phosphate (CaEtP), butyl phosphate (CaBuP) and dodecyl phosphate (CaDoP). The phosphate component of each of these salts has an alkyl group at its end – a chain composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms – of differing lengths.
The scientists found that the first three salts were converted to hydroxyapatite, but only in the presence of ALP. Interestingly, the length of the alkyl group on the phosphate ester determined the rate at which this reaction happens. With more research, the scientists think that this could allow greater control of the bone healing process in the body.
“We expect the findings of this study will be applied towards designing and developing novel bone-repairing materials with precisely controlled degradation and resorption rates inside the body,” says Yokoi.
Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Research paper: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14686996.2022.2074801
About Science and Technology of Advanced Materials (STAM)
Open access journal STAM publishes outstanding research articles across all aspects of materials science, including functional and structural materials, theoretical analyses, and properties of materials. https://www.tandfonline.com/STAM
STAM Publishing Director
Press release distributed by Asia Research News for Science and Technology of Advanced Materials.
Topic: Press release summary
LaPuerta Books and Media
announces the anticipated March 1 release of Preacher Raises the Dead,
the third novel in Gerald Everett Jones’s multiple-award-winning Evan Wycliff Mysteries. The first two books in the series, Preacher Finds a Corpse
and Preacher Fakes a Miracle,
won Gold and Silver respectively in the 2020 New York City Big Book Awards grabbing the top two slots in the mystery category that year and besting entries from not only indies but also the Big Five publishing houses. As well, the series has won three other awards to date, including kudos from the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs, the Eric Hoffer Awards, and the Independent Press Awards.
When readers meet Evan Wycliff in the first book, he’s a lapsed divinity student from a devoutly Southern Baptist family, but he’s also fascinated by astrophysics. After forsaking both Harvard Divinity School and MIT, he returns to his farm roots in Southern Missouri. When he’s not serving as a guest preacher, he’s using his investigative skills to track down neighbors who have fallen way behind on their auto loans. Bachelor Wycliff lives in a modest trailer, and some evenings he thinks his only friend is Jack Daniels. Although he might not be an agnostic, he’s certainly a fretful believer who has serious doubts.
In these novels, Evan gets involved in criminal plots and intrigues as an amateur sleuth because sometimes he’s the only clever fellow in this small rural town who is willing to help after the authorities have given up.
In Preacher Raises the Dead, Evan reluctantly takes on the role of full-time minister and walks straight into more responsibility and trouble than he can handle. He attends to near-death experience (NDE), late-stage dementia, long-term coma, and consequences of the pandemic. His old nemesis investment banker Stuart Shackleton is back – and claims to be converted. Shackleton’s money sustains a critical-care medical breakthrough, the building of a new church, and a career boost for Evan as a celebrity evangelist. Are these thrilling transformations part of a divine plan, or has Evan sold his soul?
Author Gerald Everett Jones explains how his writing process generates plot twists and surprises: “In writing these mysteries, I’ve surprised myself many times over. It will therefore surprise me if readers find anything in the plots predictable. I resolved at the outset to let my subconscious self do most of the work. And after the stage was set and the characters stepped onto it, many times they told me where they wanted to go and said whatever they wanted to say. I haven’t always worked like this. Years ago, when I wrote mainly technical and business nonfiction for publishing houses, I wrote to strict outlines, and I sought approval from in-house editors if ever I chose to depart from the agreed plan.
“When I set out to write Preacher Raises the Dead, I had the notion of describing both near-death experience and coma. In the beginning, I didn’t know who would be stricken or how those subplots would turn out. Many other plot elements were likewise uncertain right up until the words flowed into the manuscript draft, including questions about some of Evan’s most basic religious beliefs. His philosophy of life is bound to be controversial. The very thought of a practicing minister who is too often an agnostic will raise eyebrows. But do churchpersons have occasional doubts? I don’t doubt it.”
Commenting on Jones’s talent for surprising the reader, novelist John Rachel, author of Blinders Keepers and The Man Who Loved Too Much, writes in his review of Preacher Finds a Corpse: “This is an excellent read from such an engaging storyteller! It really sucked me in. That last page did cause a triple-take, quadruple-take, and whatever comes after, up to about eight. Jones is definitely one of my favorite authors.”
Likely questions from readers about Preacher Raises the Dead might be: “Should churches take views on the pandemic or on political parties or candidates? Are near-death experiences physical or metaphysical? How do ‘right to die’ laws affect treatment of patients in long-term coma?” And, perhaps most telling of all: “Can an agnostic be a practicing minister?”
Preacher Raises the Dead is available for pre-order now in trade paperback from booksellers worldwide and in Kindle ebook format from Amazon. Book release is set for Tuesday, March 1, 2022.