Orthopaedic and dental implants must last for many years. Success for these surgical components depends on integration into adjacent bone tissue. Gels made by modifying hyaluronan, a large biological molecule, can be used to coat implants. A new paper inAdvanced Engineering Materials shows that the coated titanium surfaces can bind protein molecules which promote bone formation. These can be released slowly once the surface comes in contact with a solution of calcium ions. This process would stimulate the growth of bone on the implant.
The gel layers, a few millionths of a millimetre thick, were characterised using neutron reflection at the ILL, a technique that provides a detailed picture of what happens at a surface. In their new paper the research team showed that the protein, BMP-2, that encourages bone growth was bound to the gel.
Read more at: Phys.org