Over here at Technology Review:
Today, a broken hip usually means surgery and extensive rehab. But what if all you needed was an injection and a shorter recovery period? That’s the vision that inspires Thomas Webster, an associate professor of engineering at Brown University.
Webster has developed a nanomaterial that quickly solidifies at body temperature into a bone-like substance. This week, Brown announced a deal with medical device maker Audax Medical of Littleton, Massachusetts, to further develop the material and launch trials in animals.
The material contains the same nucleic acids as DNA, Webster says. Each molecule has two covalent bonds and links with other molecules to form a tube. Hence it’s called a “twin-base linker.” (Audax will develop it under the name Arxis.)
Well, not quite the same but getting there:
“Fascinated as he was by this exchange, Stanton could not concentrate on it. The robot now removed the splint and bandages from his arm with a scuttling of curved scalpels. This would have been bad enough in a proper hospital, but here? It then split his shirt sleeve and parted it … only, Stanton suddenly realised it wasn’t just his shirt that the machine had opened. He looked away quickly from the neatly snapped bone he could see there, and cringed at the sound of small tubes sucking away the blood that started to well up. There was movement next, but no pain, then came the reassuring drone of a bone welder. Stanton could not say he was impressed with Sylac’s bedside manner.”