Nanospring Coatings for Prosthesis Applications
OTT Case 10-018 |
Orthopedics is the clinical discipline responsible for treating disorders of the musculoskeletal system, such as skeletal deformities and traumatic injuries resulting from fractures. Millions of procedures occur every year in the U.S. at a cost in the range of $25 - $30 billion dollars. As the baby boomer generation enters its retirement years, the incidence of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and age-related degeneration requiring orthopedic intervention is projected to increase by an overall annual growth rate of 15 percent. The most common cause of orthopedic implant failure, which results in premature removal, is the suboptimal bone-implant interface, aseptic loosening.
A promising new prosthetic implant trend is osseointegration, where a titanium rod is inserted into the bone and the bone cells fuse with the titanium oxide layer. Benefits to the patient include elimination of pain and soft tissue problems. Silicon dioxide nanosprings can be readily grown on numerous substrates, including metals used in orthopedic implants. The nanoprings can be easily enhanced with different metal and metal alloy coatings and then conventionally autoclaved and utilized for orthopedic procedures. Laboratory testing has shown that the metal-coated nanosprings enhance the proliferation of normal osteoblasts and deposition of bone matrix. This increased integration of bone cells around and within orthopedic implants is thought to decrease the failure rate of these devices.