An international team of scientists have developed a synthetic material that speeds bone healing by recruiting adult stem cells to the site of the graft. The team developed various ceramic particles containing calcium phosphate and tested natural bone grafts against their ceramic particles. They found that the particles induced stem cells to develop into bone cells in the test tube and stimulated bone growth in live tissue in mice, dogs and sheep.

According to senior author Professor Joost de Bruijn at the University of London:

"The rate of bone repair we see with these materials rivals that of traditional grafts using a patients' own bone. And what sets it apart from other synthetic graft substitutes is its ability to attract stem cells and the body's natural growth factors, which coincide to form new, strong, natural bone around an artificial graft."

The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.