One in every two women over the age of 50 will suffer an osteoporotic bone fracture at some point in their lifetime. In Argentina alone this illness that weakens the bones and quietly attacks women and the elderly in particular generates over $190 million per year in hospitalization costs.
Given that in Latin America the population over age 65 is expected to increase significantly during the next half century and the number of hip fractures are expected to reach the current figures from the US and Europe, finding affordable and effective treatments has become a matter of great interest to governments and health institutions in the region and worldwide.
The innovative Argentinean Valeria Bosio has decided to imitate the structure of the human bone as closely as possible in order to create better, more resistant implants capable of disintegrating as the new bone is formed.
This young scientist from The Engineering Research Center of Tissues of Boston (USA) and postdoctoral fellow at CONICET has created a three-dimensional matrix made of reinforced silk fibers, into which stem cells obtained from bone marrow are integrated. Silk, mechanically robust yet flexible at the same time, is versatile in terms of morphology and structure and capable of integrating cell growth in a sponge-like structure.
The main advantage of this platform, from an economic point of view, is the low cost of the main raw material used to create the implants. Bosio´s technology will also avoid the need for patients to undergo multiple surgeries.
Valeria Bosio, twice doctorate by the consortium of French universities of Nantes, Angers and Le Mans and the University of La Plata, has extensive experience in the development of nanostructured particles of biological interest. Some of them, currently pending the concession of patents, could be used, for example, for the development of cancer treatments.