Mayo Clinic researchers develop expandable polymer grafts — 5 things to know

Spinal Tech

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic researchers developed biodegradable polymer grafts that adjust to specific damaged vertebrae, according to Business Standard.

Here are five things to know:


1. Removing spinal tumors leave large spaces in the spinal column, so the grafts fill the void to strengthen the spine.


2. The grafts take on a spongy material that grows to the proper size and shape of damaged vertebrae to fix spinal columns.


3. Lichun Lu, PhD, and her team created a material that is dehydrated down to a size that surgeons can use with posterior spinal surgery. Once surgeons implant the material, it absorbs fluids and expands to fill the void.


4. The researchers created a hollow hydrophilic cage and adjusted the polymer's molecular weight and charge so it wouldn't expand too quickly during surgery.


5. The research helps with developing an optimal size of a spinal implant for restorative surgery.


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