Revolutionary new material for surgical implants

Revolutionary new material for surgical implants

The new material could be suitable for applications in various medical devices aimed at strengthening or replacing human tissues. The 3D-printed “nose” in the image is an example of how the material could act as a possible cartilage replacement. (Photo: Anna Lena Lundqvist / Chalmers).

A new material, similar to rubber and with a unique set of properties, has been created that could act as a substitute for human tissue in some surgical procedures for implants. The material has the potential to offer implant recipients many important advantages over other materials.

In the development of medical technology products, there is a great demand for new materials suitable for integration into the human body. The introduction of materials into the body carries many risks, such as serious infections, among other things. Many of the substances used today, such as Botox, are very toxic and must be used with very rigorous precautions. There is a great need for new materials that are more adaptable and more “natural.”

The team of Anand Kumar Rajasekharan and Martin Andersson, from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, have developed and patented a material that is made only of components that have already been shown to work well in the human body.

The base of the material is the same as that of Plexiglass, a material that is common in medical technology applications. By redesigning its composition, and through a process called nanostructuring, the researchers gave the new material a unique combination of properties. The researchers’ initial intention was to produce a hard bone-like material, but eventually they chose to develop a very soft, flexible, and elastic material.

The new rubber-like material may be suitable for many applications that require a rare combination of properties: high elasticity, easy processing, and medical suitability.

The first application that the creators of the material have in mind are urinary catheters. The material can be made in such a way that it prevents the growth of bacteria on the surface.

The structure of the new material allows its surface to be treated so that it becomes antibacterial in a natural way and without toxicity. This is accomplished by sticking antimicrobial peptides (small proteins that are part of our innate immune system) on its surface. This can help reduce the need for antibiotics and thus make a significant contribution to the fight against increasing microbial resistance to antibiotics.

Because the new material can be injected and inserted through “keyhole” surgery (which requires only a small incision), it can also help reduce the need for drastic surgery and operations to rebuild body parts. The material can be injected through a standard cannula as a viscous fluid, to form its own elastic structures within the body. Or, the material can also be 3D printed on specific structures as required.

There are many diseases in which cartilage deteriorates and friction occurs between the bones, causing great pain to the affected person. Andersson believes that the new material could serve as a replacement in those cases.

Source: NCYT® / Amazings® | ( / All rights reserved.

Close Menu