In China, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and City University of Hong Kong developed an implantable bio-composite made of black phosphorus nanomaterial and a widely-used tissue-engineering chemical compound to repair bone defects and promote the growth of new bone.
Phosphorus is one of the vital elements constituting about one percent of the total human body weight. With the black phosphorus nanomaterial, the composite has shown a highly-efficient photothermal response. Even when the composite is covered by a tissue barrier as thick as 7 mm, it can still increase the temperature under the NIR light irradiation.
According to lead author Tong Liping, the composite has large clinical potential. It is biodegradable and can produce nontoxic end products such as water and carbon dioxide which can also serve as necessary bone ingredients.