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Nanomodified surfaces seal leg implants against infection
Date:3/22/2011

t growing skin cells. This may be the first time that a nanosurface created this way on titanium has been shown to attract skin cells.

The second approach, called anodization, involved dipping the abutment into hydrofluoric acid and giving it a jolt of electric current. This causes the titanium atoms on the abutment's surface to scurry about and regather as hollow, tubular structures rising perpendicularly from the abutment's surface. As with the nanomounds, skin cells quickly colonize the nanotubular surface.

In laboratory (in vitro) tests, the researchers report nearly a doubling of skin cell density on the implant surface; within five days, the keratinocyte density reached the point at which an impermeable skin layer bridging the abutment and the body had been created.

"You definitely have a complete layer of skin," Webster said. "There's no more gap for the bacteria to go through."

To further promote skin cell growth around the implant, Webster's team looked to FGF-2, a protein secreted by the skin to help other skin cells grow. Simply slathering the abutment with the proteins doesn't work, as FGF-2 loses its effect when absorbed by the titanium. So the researchers came up with a synthetic molecular chain to bind FGF-2 to the titanium surface, while maintaining the protein's skin-cell growing ability. Not surprisingly, in vitro tests showed the greatest density of skin cells on abutment surfaces using the nanomodified surfaces and laced with FGF-2. Moreover, the nanomodified surfaces create more surface area for FGF-2 proteins than would be available on traditional implants.

The next step is to perform in vivo studies; if they are successful, human trials could begin, although Webster said that could be years away.


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Contact: Richard Lewis
Richard_Lewis@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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