Elastic Artificial Bone - Durable and soft and can be cut with a surgical Knife

Artificial Bone from Japan - AkihabaraNews.com

On December 11, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) announced that, in cooperation with Hoya Technological, they have developed artificial bone made of an inorganic-organic composite. 

The project cost approximately JPY 420 million (USD 4.2 million).

Conventionally procedures use "autologus bone grafts," which are bone regeneration techniques that utilize transplants and grafts of the patient's own bones. Although the regeneration success rate is high and there are but minor health complications, limits on collection quantity and the severe pain associated with the process present considerable drawbacks.

There are currently few other options. Ceramic has been considered as a potential alternative, but such implants or prosthetics have proven quite fragile.

Next-Gen Artificial Bones
JST and Hoya Technological set out to make next-generation artificial bones with better regeneration performance than autologous procedures while also addressing limited quantities.

The research focused on these 3 key factors:
1) Making the artificial bone elastic to avoid the frailty problems of ceramic artificial bones and to increase the handleability during surgery.
2) Mimicking the composition of actual human bone
3) Allowing for fusion with extant bone to mimic the autologus regeneration

This new artificial bone is called Refit. It received approval for manufacturing and selling as a medical device/material in June 2012 and was approved for insurance coverage in January 2013. At this point, Refit has been used on a limited basis by select medical institutions.

This project was based on the research of Mr. Junzo Tanaka of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology.