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Gel turns to bone-growing scaffold when injected into the body

As the cells grow and populate the material, they gradually replace it, until all that remains is a solid piece of tissue or bone. Now, scientists at Houston's Rice University have taken that concept a step further, using a polymer that is liquid at room temperature, but that solidifies into a scaffold when injected into patients' bodies. The Rice team created a hydrogel containing a polymer known as poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), which has also recently been put forward as a "reversible glue" for temporarily sealing eye injuries while patients are in transit. As long as it's kept below body temperature, the polymer remains in a liquid state. Once heated by the body, however, it becomes a semi-solid.

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