Feel it in your bones

Mitsubishi Materials has developed a paste to repair damaged bones. The company received government approval late last year to market the paste in Japan. And it since has put the paste into commercial production.

Bone paste allows for reproducing the precise shape and contours of patients’ original bones. It is especially valuable for repairing fractures in elderly patients who suffer from the bone-weakening debility of osteoporosis. Bone paste also is useful for replacing bone removed in cancer surgery and for ‘caulking’ around the bases of artificial joints.

Mitsubishi Materials calls the bone paste Biopex. The paste complements a pair of related products that the company introduced previously for applications in osteoplastic and dental surgery.

Bone surgeons prepare the paste by mixing Biopex powder with a liquid binder. The paste hardens into bonelike apatite in about 10 minutes. Mitsubishi Materials supplies the Biopex powder to a Japanese pharmaceutical company for marketing to physicians and hospitals nationwide.