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Hip replacement surgery is frequently used for severe arthritis. Arthritis is a condition affecting the bones, that causes pain and inflammation in a joint (Arthritis Research UK , 2016). In the UK, more than 20 million people suffer from arthritis and it affects people of all ages, including children (NHS, 2017). Although there is no cure for severe arthritis there are surgical procedures, including metal/artificial hip replacement surgery. It involves making an incision into the hip and removing the damaged joint of the hip, replacing it with an artificial joint which is usually made of a metal allo

In 2017 an accident broke Eva, a young Münsterländer’s leg. A team at the University of Glasgow repaired the damage using a metal plate and screws (Figure 7). Unfortunately, due to an infection, Eva’s fracture failed to heal. The team at Glasgow considered amputating Eva’s leg as it was unlikely that her leg would heal. However, they discovered that Professor Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez had developed biomaterials in his laboratory at the University that could help the fracture to heal. The team placed bone graft coated with a polymer (protein) and growth factors inside the damaged area (The Royal Society, 2018). A growth factor called Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 (BMP-2) instructs the body’s stem cells to become bone cells. Therefore, an unspecialised adult stem cell (pluripotent) differentiates to become a specialised, bone cell. The team created 3D biomaterials containing the growth factor delivering a safe dose to the area of injury (Microenvironments for Medicine Research Group, 2017)

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