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 Smart Metallic Surfaces May Lead to Better Prostheses

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Date posted: 29/01/2009

Researchers at the Universit? de Montr?al with help from McGill University, the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS-EMT), Plasmionique Inc and the Universidade de S?o Paulo, have managed to chemically modify titanium to create chemically intelligent surfaces.

?Using chemical modification, we have produced metals with intelligent surfaces that positively interact with cells and help control the biological healing response,? says Antonio Nanci, the study's senior author and a professor at the Universit? de Montr?al's Faculty of Dentistry. ?These will be the building-blocks of new and improved metal implants that are expected to significantly affect the success of orthopedic, dental and cardiovascular prostheses.?

The new material can interact with cells in the body and either promote healing or suppress their growth. It is believed that this research will lead to smart prostheses that will help promote healing of tissue post implantation.

Dr. Nanci and colleagues applied chemical compounds to modify the surface of the common biomedical metals such as titanium. Exposing these metals to selected etching mixtures of acids and oxidants results in surfaces with a sponge-like pattern of nano (ultra small) pits. ?We demonstrated that some cells stick better to these surfaces than they do to the traditional smooth ones,? says Dr. Nanci. ?This is already an improvement to the standard available biomaterial.?

The researchers then tested the effects of the chemically-produced nanoporous titanium surfaces on cell growth and development. They showed that the treated surfaces increased growth of bone cells, decreased growth of unwanted cells and stimulated stem cells, relative to untreated smooth ones. In addition, expression of genes required for cell adhesion and growth were increased in contact with the nanoporous surfaces.

See the full Story via external site: www.nouvelles.umontreal.ca

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