Researchers at UC Riverside have determined that carbon nanotubes can make ideal scaffolds for healing broken bones.
The researchers expect that nanotubes will improve the strength and flexibility of artificial bone materials, leading to a new type of bone graft for fractures that may also be important in the treatment of bone-thinning diseases such as osteoporosis.
In a typical bone graft, bone or synthetic material is shaped by the surgeon to fit the affected area... Pins or screws then hold the healthy bone to the implanted material. Grafts provide a framework for bones to regenerate and heal, allowing bone cells to weave into the porous structure of the implant, which supports the new tissue as it grows to connect fractured bone segments.
Current polymer and peptide fiber scaffolds have low strength and are prone to rejection; carbon nanotube-based scaffolds would be far stronger and have far less rejection potential.
Apparently there are some questions remaining about the safety of fullerenes:
Thanks for the link; I've read about the bass research before, but it's good to have more details. It doesn't appear that the nanotube use as described by the UCR group would fit the conditions that brought about the brain problems in the fish. Still, the toxicity of fullerenes is worth additional study, certainly.