Preventing implant failures with biochemical Braille
By Life Scientist Staff | Posted in Biochemistry on 01 October, 2014
Australian and South Korean researchers have developed a method to help reduce biomedical and prosthetic device failure rates – currently sitting at 17% – by enabling Braille-like communication between medical implants and a patient’s cells. Their study has been published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
“Insufficient integration with local host tissues is a significant problem that adversely affects the performance of implanted biomedical devices,” the authors noted. “Poor tissue integration leaves patients susceptible to complications associated with adverse foreign body reactions and infections that typically mandate expensive and elevated-risk revision surgery.”
The researchers conducted a five-year study into ways to effectively stimulate the body’s acceptance of the biomaterials, using an ‘imprinted’ message on the surface of implantable devices such as artificial joints. The study focused on creating surfaces on biomaterials that can recruit relevant cells, in this case bone cells, and trigger optimal responses that functionally integrate the implant within the body.