Well, I’ve heard of some interesting procedures, but this is one of those that you always wonder how it works. Scientists have been able to make artificial bone from wood. Yes, that’s right wood. It’s that natural resource that we get when we chop down trees, it’s what our homes are made of, and now it’s what could replace some of your bone.
The procedure would turn blocks of wood, into functioning artificial bone. Scientists plan to implant these wooden bone substitute into large animals before eventually placing them in humans. The goal of the wooden bone substitute is to hopefully allow your actual bones to heal more quickly and even more securely after a break, more so than the current metal and ceramic options.
Now if you are as shocked as me you’re probably asking yourself why bone, isn’t metal a better alternative. Well, apparently researches chose wood because it closely resembles the physical structure of natural bone, which we are unable to reproduce with our current technology.
The process requires a block of wood to be heated until there is only pure carbon (charcoal basically) left. The wood is then sprayed with calcium which combines with the carbon resulting in calcium carbide. Then more chemical and physical steps change the calcium carbide into carbonated hydroxyapatite. This can then be implanted and will function as the artificial bone.
This process takes about a week to finish and roughly $850 for a single block, which is about one bone implant.