Wood is the new high-tech material used as artificial bone

Scientists in Italy have been thinking outside the box and started making bone implants out of wood. They don’t just insert a plank in to your body, of course, the wood first require some processing, including burning it to charcoal, spraying it with calcium and other chemical and physical treatments.

Discovery News writes:

Wood-based implants would have several advantages over traditional titanium or ceramic implants, says [Anna Tampieri, a scientist at the Instituto Di Scienza E Techologia Dei Materiali Ceramici in Italy]. Since their physical structure is more spongy than solid, like many metal or ceramic implants, live bone should grow into wood-derived bone substitute quicker and more securely.

Presently, the wooden bone grafts have only been tested on sheep so far, but until they’ve been cleared for use in humans, there are other potential uses for wood-based materials:

“Materials able to maintain adequate properties at extremely high temperatures and mechanical stress are highly sought after for use in several different applications, ” said Tampieri. “Including, for example, catalytic silencers, space vehicles, turbine equipment for power generation plants and aircraft engines, like turbine blades, vanes, shrouds, and combustor components, and metal forming and glass blowing equipment.”

I’m trying to come up with a woody/boner joke to finish with, but I’m coming up short.


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