We’ve already heard about implantable materials with a scaffolding-like microstructure, that help heal broken bones by giving bone cells a place to migrate into. A new one could work even better, though, by also providing electrical stimulation.
Scientists have previously had success using implants to mimic the body’s own electrical field, stimulating bone cells into reproducing. Unfortunately, though, these devices have tended to be bulky, requiring an integrated (potentially toxic) battery or a hard-wired external power source. Additionally, once the broken bone has healed, the implants have to be surgically removed.