Washington DC: A new drug, inspired by amphibians like salamanders, is being developed to help bones heal faster and better in older people suffering a fracture.
Using bone samples from people undergoing hip replacement surgery, the University of Southampton researchers were able to show that the drug causes stem cells found within bones to divide and turn into more bone cells.
The drug is a protein that activates a molecular pathway called the 'Wnt' pathway which is involved in controlling the growth of stem cells, which help restore tissues after injury.
Researcher Nick Evans says the problem of bone fractures in society is getting worse with around 10 per cent taking over six months to heal, or never healing at all.
The research is published in the journal Stem Cells.