Research

From Honeybees to Giant Trees, Inspired by Nature

The science community has taken inspiration from and learned from the natural world since the very start of scientific inquisition and innovation. For the scientists at OsteoGene Tech, that truth goes on unbroken. InRoad® is heavily influenced by the natural wonders of the world and the natural processes of the human body. From the physical structure of the granules to the basic functions of the product, the corporation took inspiration from nature to create a viable solution to existing issues in the bone regeneration and restoration with their product.

The base structure of the synthetic granules was inspired by hives constructed by bees. Those small, honey-producing insects create networks of one of the most stable structures in nature. The honeycomb shape of their hives ensures that the macro primary pores, similar to trabecular bones, of InRoad® are as stable as naturally possible and allows the granules to easily interconnect with one another to create a porous yet highly stable environment that stimulates the most important aspect of the synthetic bone graft’s design: capillary action.

Capillary action can be defined as the movement of a liquid through a narrow tube or porous material due to forces of adhesion, cohesion, and surface tension. It is something that can be observed in plant-life around the world, such as the giant sequoia tree that spans hundreds of feet tall. This specific species of tree is capable of growing to such impressive heights due to its strong capillary function, which allows water and nutrients to spread quickly and evenly throughout the plant, reaching even the furthest branches and leaves from the roots underground. InRoad® acts in a similar manner but on a much smaller, micro scale using its honeycomb structure and the various pores and micro-channels built within the structure to expedite capillary action and mimic the capillary vessels in the human body.

Not unexpectedly, the human body is one of the greatest sources for innovation in the scientific fields with its preexisting complex structures and systems that keep it healthy and whole. As such there is a great emphasis for devices that can accurately and safely replicate bodily functions or that take organic characteristics and recreate them using synthetic materials. Capillary vessels are a type of small blood vessel which are responsible for transporting blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the body’s cells and are another key point to the success of InRoad®.

The synthetic bone graft facilitates an environment in which the necessary nutrients may travel through the granules’ micro-channels to ensure a healthy environment for new bone growth at the site of application. The porous nature of the granules allows for the micro-channels and -pores to act as synthetic capillary vessels during the initial application with organic capillaries naturally forming as new bone growth occurs. However, the granules would be far less effective without the base honeycomb design that holds the structure together and creates the macropores that allow for such strong capillary action.

The effectiveness of InRoad® comes from its multifaceted structure and function that combines synthetic mimicry with natural cellular processes borrowed from old and new inspirations from nature.

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