Russian scientists have successfully tested biodegradable tibia implants with bioactive coatings out of polylactic acid and calcium phosphate, which might shorten the treatment period by two to four times compared to current world standards. Tests were carried out at Russia’s largest Ilizarov Orthopaedic Centre.
A research team supervised by Assistant Prof Sergei Tverdokhlebov developed a technology for manufacturing polymer implants out of a composite material, i.e. polylactic acid and calcium phosphate. It is a biodegradable material that fully dissolves over time. The implant samples 3D-printed at TPU are now passing the preclinical tests at Russia’s centre in Kurgan, and the first results have been announced.
In the Centre, a tibia implant sample was successfully implanted in a dog suffering from a 2-4 cm bone defect. According to experts, Xray and morphological monitoring showcased that while the defect was replaced with a new bone tissue the implant was completely degraded. Such implants allow treating patients within one surgery, as there is no need to remove implants since they are already dissolved. The study of implants was led by Prof Arnold Popkov.
He said: “Such implants imply a fundamentally novel approach to the development of a treatment technology for patients with musculoskeletal disorders when structures interacting with a bone tissue are built, taking into account not only biomechanics and materials science, but also biological processes occurring in the damaged bone tissue, and bioactive products. The main idea is that while working with materials and coatings of implants, changing them, we can stimulate and control histogenesis of a bone tissue.
“Ultimately, we are striving to shorten the restoration period of a bone tissue and to manufacture domestic implants.”
Source: Tomsk Polytechnic University