Determining the porosity of a 'bio-glas' scaffold, July 2001.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Larry Hench, Profesor of Ceramic Materials at Imperial College, London, invented the first man-made material that can bond with living tisue. 'Bio-glas' is a porous glas that can be cast in any shape, forming a scaffold for new bone cells to grow on. When bio-glas disolves, it releases substances that act like fertilisers, encouraging cells to fill the cast. Small pores in the scaffold allow for a more efficient bone bonding, and a quicker release of the fertiliser ions.