Italian scientists have developed a process for turning blocks of red oak, rattan and sipo into artificial bones, suitable for implanting into humans.
Wooden bones are NOT currently approved for people, and there are many more years of research required.
Some advantages of wooden bone implants:
1) Wood is porous and can allow tissues to grow into it… harder implants such as titanium can actually cause rebreakage in bones around it.
2) Wood is closer to the natural, springy structure of bone.
3) Woodworkers may have lucrative new business opportunities ;)
Here’s the fabrication process for the curious:
“To create the bone substitute, the scientists start with a block of wood — red oak, rattan and sipo work best — and heat it until all that remains is pure carbon, which is basically charcoal.
“The scientists then spray calcium over the carbon, creating calcium carbide. Additional chemical and physical steps convert the calcium carbide into carbonated hydroxyapatite, which can then be implanted and serves as the artificial bone.”
“The entire process takes about one week and costs about $850 for a single block. One block translates to about one bone implant.”