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J Orthop Res. 2017 Sep;35(9):1855-1864. doi: 10.1002/jor.23592. Epub 2017 May 23.

Building better bone: The weaving of biologic and engineering strategies for managing bone loss.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Emory University, Decatur, Georgia.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Atlanta Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Decatur, Georgia.
Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.


Segmental bone loss remains a challenging clinical problem for orthopaedic trauma surgeons. In addition to the missing bone itself, the local tissues (soft tissue, vascular) are often highly traumatized as well, resulting in a less than ideal environment for bone regeneration. As a result, attempts at limb salvage become a highly expensive endeavor, often requiring multiple operations and necessitating the use of every available strategy (autograft, allograft, bone graft substitution, Masquelet, bone transport, etc.) to achieve bony union. A cost-sensitive, functionally appropriate, and volumetrically adequate engineered substitute would be practice-changing for orthopaedic trauma surgeons and these patients with difficult clinical problems. In tissue engineering and bone regeneration fields, numerous research efforts continue to make progress toward new therapeutic interventions for segmental bone loss, including novel biomaterial development as well as cell-based strategies. Despite an ever-evolving literature base of these new therapeutic and engineered options, there remains a disconnect with the clinical practice, with very few translating into clinical use. A symposium entitled "Building better bone: The weaving of biologic and engineering strategies for managing bone loss," was presented at the 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society Conference to further explore this engineering-clinical disconnect, by surveying basic, translational, and clinical researchers along with orthopaedic surgeons and proposing ideas for pushing the bar forward in the field of segmental bone loss. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 35:1855-1864, 2017.


bone augmentation; bone graft; bone transport; critical bone loss

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