Home Science & Technology Antimicrobial coating to improve implants. – Researcher

Antimicrobial coating to improve implants. – Researcher

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Infections after hip arthroplasty and orthopedic procedures can be complex and lead to painful and repeated surgeries, with the possibility of “superbugs” that are fatal.

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Now Australian researchers from Flinders University, Swinburne University of Technology and RMIT have come up with a way to give medical device surfaces new antimicrobial-resistant substances to protect against infections as well as improve and extend possible implant life.

The research team created a new surface coating by adding liquid gallium metal to hydroxyapatite to obtain a new compound with significant long-term antibacterial properties. new publication in the American Chemical Society Applied materials and ACS interfaces.


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“Even with sterilization measures, opportunistic bacteria, including the growth of some antibacterial-resistant drugs, can form on the accumulation of biofilms on the contact surfaces of surgical and other devices,” says lead researcher of medical biotechnology Dr. Chi ‘Khan-Khan. from the Laboratory of Biomedical Nanoengineering (BNL) at Flinders University.

“Even worse, it is almost impossible to treat the infection with orthopedic devices, especially if it involves complications with antibiotic resistance,” he says.

The new technique increases the viability of conventional metal implants coated with hydroxyapatite, which are known to fail and cause infection and even death in up to 2% of patients, says co-author Dr. Andrew Eng of Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. .

“Up to half of these infections can lead to further surgery and removal of the device – and this new coating also promises integration into the patient’s bone.”

The global orthopedic device market is projected to grow from more than $ 45 billion to $ 64 billion by 2026 as the planet’s population continues to age.

Researchers say further testing of the technique, which uses a plasma spray product, could expand the scale for commercial applications in the future. Regulatory approvals can be simplified for both hydroxyapatite and gallium derivatives that are already FDA approved.

Demand for such applications – including dental or other new-age implants that attach to bone – should be strong, given that currently orthopedic implants have no antimicrobial surface modifications, says Dr. Truong.

“This new coating is made by environmentally friendly technology, the process does not use harmful organic solvents,” he added.

Matthew Flinders, Professor Krassimir Vasiliev, director of the Biomedical Nanoengineering Laboratory, says the research team aims to provide clinicians and the biomedical industry with the necessary new technologies to improve patient well-being and save lives.

IMAGE Credit: Flinders University