Electrostimulation has been recognized as a promising nonpharmacological treatment in orthopedics to promote bone fracture healing. However, clinical applications have been largely limited by the complexity of equipment operation and stimulation implementation. Here, we present a self-powered implantable and bioresorbable bone fracture electrostimulation device, which consists of a triboelectric nanogenerator for electricity generation and a pair of dressing electrodes for applying electrostimulations directly toward the fracture. The device can be attached to irregular tissue surfaces and provide biphasic electric pulses in response to nearby body movements. We demonstrated the operation of this device on rats and achieved effective bone fracture healing in as short as 6 wk versus the controls for more than 10 wk to reach the same healing result. The optimized electrical field could activate relevant growth factors to regulate bone microenvironment for promoting bone formation and bone remodeling to accelerate bone regeneration and maturation, with statistically significant 27% and 83% improvement over the control groups in mineral density and flexural strength, respectively. This work provided an effective implantable fracture therapy device that is self-responsive, battery free, and requires no surgical removal after fulfilling the biomedical intervention.
Copyright © 2021 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.