reportImplants, Surgery and Coatings
7.5.2 Definition & Short Description
Implants, Surgery & Coatings
Keywords: active implant, passive implant, surgical blade, tweezers, needle, catheter, coating, stent, bone, dental, nanostructure.
For the purpose of this report, implants, surgery and coatings describes nanomaterials that can be used in both active and passive implants and in surgical procedures.
The major issues with placing implants in living tissue are rejection by the body and the need for replacement after a few years. This is not only costly but also puts the patient through another set of complicated procedures and their associated problems. In order to be successful, implants should be biocompatible and control the growth of tissues.
Nanotechnology has the capability to improve implant biocompatibility, either by coating implants with nanomaterials or by using nanomaterials as implant materials. Different types of coatings can be applied to improve the sustainability of the implants and protect them against bacterial and fungal infection. Coatings have also been applied in synthetic vascular grafts to avoid the deposition of biological material, thereby reducing the chances of occlusion[i]. Nanoscale materials can be used to make lighter and stronger implants that last longer. Some nanoscale materials can also accelerate cell growth after implantation.
In addition to supporting the basic requirements of implants, nanotechnology can also help to improve the monitoring and control of factors that help the growth of tissues in vivo with the use of sensors. This also allows the localised application of stimuli to encourage cell adhesion and growth. Nanotechnology can also be used to create smaller, rechargeable batteries for use in active implants. The technology has also been applied to create corrosion free suture needles with improved strength and ductility. Nanoparticles have also been incorporated into fibres to be used for wound dressings.
The ultimate aim of using these novel technologies in implants, surgery or wound care is to heal the body quickly and efficiently without creating excessive pain or irritation. It may also allow development of biomimetic cures for some of the chronic and degenerative diseases.
This report is aimed at highlighting some of the important developments in the area of passive and active implants, surgery and the use of textiles in wound care. Tissue engineering applications are covered in the regenerative medicine subsector report in this series.
[i] Roadmap Report Concerning the Use of Nanomaterials in the Medical & Health Sector, Nanoroadmap 2015, European Commission, 2006. http://www.nanoroad.net/download/roadmap_mh.pdf
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