07/06: Problem: implant infection. Solution: nanotechnology-based surfaces
For the first time, engineers have created surfaces for orthopedic implants that reduce the presence of bacteria. This research, led by Thomas Webster, associate professor of engineering at Brown University, could lead to a new class of artificial joints, which is a huge market: More than 750,000 Americans undergo knee replacement operations each year, shoulder or hip.
Orthopedic implants help millions of Americans stay active, but they often cause infections, forcing patients to re-undergo repair or replacement operations. Now, for the first time, a team of engineers has shown that titanium oxide or zinc nano surfaces can reduce the presence of bacteria, something that can be applied to implants to reduce the number of these costly and debilitating infections.
The results of the research have been published in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.