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Long-life prostheses and implants

Crystalline layer can form a pressure-resistant and high-tensile link

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Exhibitor

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

Exhibitor details
Exhibitor details
Logo Long-life prostheses and implants

Product description

Artificial joints or anchorages for implants in dental medicine usually consist of metals. These metal supporting materials have to be permanently bonded with the bone or tooth material. Ideally, this bond ought to be pressure-resistant and high-tensile in order to resist mechanical strain caused by motion occurring e.g. when walking or chewing. Today, screws are often used to fixate artificial joints, although they can come loose or jam, which may cause the prosthesis carrier to suffer pain or restrict his or her mobility. As an alternative, medical engineers are attempting to create a firmly bonded link between the metal implants and the bone with a type of adhesive or cement. Often, the solid hydroxyl-apatite is used as a bonding substance. So-called plasma spraying causes it to evaporate, so that it can then be applied to metal surfaces. However, this requires a considerable effort, while the compound provides only poor tensile strength. Scientists at the Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG) at KIT have succeeded in growing layers of hydroxyl-apatite on silicon surfaces. Such a hydroxyl-apatite layer possesses a crystalline structure and resembles human dental enamel. Under the microscope, it shows a raw surface and a porous structure into which the biomaterials can grow. For the supporting material of a prosthesis or an implant, a titanium-silicon alloy can for example be used the silicon share of which increases towards the surface. In this manner, it is possible to create firmly bonded links with all boundary surfaces, with hydroxyl-apatite growing on the surface and the biomaterial growing into the hydroxyl-apatite. So in future, crystalline hydroxyl-apatite layers could contribute to the development of long-life, low-cost prostheses and implant materials. In addition, a thin, small silicon plate covered by a layer of hydroxyl-apatite provides an ideal testing surface for the development of future medical products.

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Hall 2, Stand B16

(Main stand)

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