Glue that can bond anything &mdash even bones &mdash developed by Technion

jerusalem | Sticks and stones can break one’s bones, but a new engineered gel called Gelrin — developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa — can not only glue them together again but also heal by stimulating tissue development.

The new material, which fuses biological and synthetic substances at the molecular level and speeds bone and cartilage repair, was created by Dr. Dror Seliktar of the biomedical engineering department and colleagues.

A report on their work in the lab, authored by lead researcher Seliktar and his assistant, graduate student Liora Almany-Levi, has been published online in the journal Biomaterials. Animal tests are now under way.

With some one million orthopedic bone substitution procedures performed annually in the United States alone, Gelrin could have widespread applications. It could reduce the need for bone transplants and heal bone defects caused by cancer, trauma or age-related degeneration; be used to treat sports injuries; and aid in spinal fusion operations.