Due to population aging, bone disease is becoming increasingly widespread. This trend has led to an increase in the use of orthopedic and dental implants to treat the condition. We can trace the history of implants all the way back to 1 AD, when wrought iron was fashioned into dental implants in ancient Rome. Despite the long history, various challenges are still linked to implant procedures, including inflammation or a loose implant stemming from slow fusing to the bone tissue.
To help mitigate these problems, an attempt has been made to coat implant materials with artificial bone, which has the same composition as human bone. Standard coating methods rely on a synthesis process to produce the synthetic bone material and a different coating process, making the whole procedure time consuming.
That may be changing, however. A research team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology recently announced that they had created a ceramic artificial bone coating that was revealed to contain triple adhesion strength when compared to the standard coating materials.
The team, led by Dr. Hojeong Jeon, developed a technology that could create the synthetic bone coating in an hour using a single process. This process, which creates the coating using a nanosecond laser, eliminates the need to synthesize bone material.
In addition to this, the process makes it possible to form a layer of coating with a robust binding power, which is inherently better than the bone coating methods routinely being used today. The process creates a strong coating, not only on metal surfaces but also on polymer material surfaces such as orthopedic plastic implants, which previously were not conducive to the processes applied clinically today.
The research team coated the material in a solution that contained phosphorous and calcium and then irradiated it with a laser. This helped cut down the number of steps involved in the conventional process while still ensuring robust coating. The temperature was then increased in a localized manner at the laser’s target site, which resulted in a reaction involving the phosphorous and calcium. This reaction produced hydroxyapatite (artificial ceramic bone) and formed a coating layer.
Jeon explained that the hydroxyapatite coating technique using nanosecond lasers was a simple way to cause bioactivity in nonbioactive materials such as PEEK and titanium, which are often used as biomaterials. He anticipates that the method will revolutionize the field, stating that it has wide applications to various medical equipment where osseointegration is required.
One player in the biomedical technology space you should watch is Processa Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PCSA). The company focuses on developing therapies that are ready for clinical development or those which have few stages to complete before they can be subjected to clinical trials.
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