glass and radioactive glass spheres be used to help mend the
bones and joints of arthritis patients in the not too distant
future, according to researchers in Missouri.
using a caulking gun to repair the cracks in your bathroom.
Now think of injecting a non-harmful but similar substance
into a crushed vertebrae to fill in the space and cracks,"
said Dr. Delbert Day, Curators' Professor emeritus of ceramic
engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
is a mixture of crushed glass and polymer, which would be
injected into the area of a crushed vertebrae or other damaged
bone. It fills the cracks and glues the pieces back together.
Once dry, it turns into a bone-like substance, bonding to
the original bone, he said.
process currently being developed involves radioactive glass
spheres. The spheres, about one-fifth to one-tenth the diameter
of a human hair, would be injected into the arthritic joint.
radiation is delivered, the spheres react with body fluids,
eventually disappearing from the body.
glass beads confine all of the radioactivity to the diseased
joint," Day said, adding that the procedure is a safe
method of exposing patients to radiation.
of the FDA-approved TheraShpere -- a radioactive glass microsphere
used to treat liver cancer patients -- says development of
the glass beads is moving quickly.
we investigate and see in the laboratory, compared to what
has been seen in experiments on animals, is encouraging,"
of June 30, 2002