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New ground on achieving faster bone healing

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Scientists on a mission to shorten broken bone recovery times are focusing in on plasma irradiation and have shared their findings.

A study from an Osaka Metropolitan University-led research group involved breaking the legs of rats in two ways; one group of 24 rats had normal fractures that are generally easy to heal, while the  other group of 20 had fractures known as non-union ones where healing is usually prolonged or does not happen.

Some were then irradiated with non-thermal atmospheric-pressure plasma, which didn’t offer the normal fracture group any significant advantages but boosted the healing and recovery time of the rats with non-union fractures. The strength of the healed areas of the irradiated non-union rats was also about 3.5 times stronger than that of the nonirradiated ones.

Furthermore, in vitro study of pre-osteoblastic cells irradiated with the plasma for 5 to 15 seconds showed that the activity of a protein that is an indicator of osteoblast differentiation increased, indicating that maturation of these bone-forming cells was progressing.

“Collaboration between the medical and engineering fields creates new medical technologies that have never before existed,” Professor Toyoda declared. “In the future, combining this treatment method with current fracture treatments is expected to contribute to more reliable bone fusion and shorter recovery times.”

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