DARPA, the US military's premier R&D team has been given the task of producing "a dynamic putty-like material" that can be packed in around shattered bone to help support a patient's body during the healing process. It would also be designed to bio-degrade when all is said and done. If DARPA is successful in developing this material, it would allow for increased mobility and a quicker recovery for patients suffering from major fractures.
Not surprisingly, there will be a number of obstacles standing in DARPA's way. The putty will have to not only be strong and flexible, but it will have to bond well with bone and feature a similar internal structure. Whether or not this goal can be achieved remains to be seen, but a meeting has been scheduled for July 1st in Virginia to begin the process. [FBO via Wired]