Though artificial-joint tech is pretty advanced these days, with titanium hips and knees built to last a decade or more, they won't last forever -- and aging patients will have to go back under the knife for upgrades. Naturally re-growing their own bones would be a nice alternative.
For the first time, researchers have proven this can work, by stimulating the body's own stem cells to re-grow joint tissue around an implantable scaffold.
Creating an adhesive that can bond together bones has long presented researchers with some sticky problems. Many glues will not adhere to slick, wet surfaces, and those that do still tend to dissolve into the surrounding liquid. When setting shattered bones, surgeons instead must turn to metal screws and plates, a less-than-optimal process that often involves multiple surgeries and the lasting effects of metal implements inside the body. But researchers in Utah may have found the key to creating bone-setting glue, in a tiny, sandcastle-building aquatic worm.