Orthopaedic and dental surgeons are fully aware of the need for implants to bond well with the surrounding living bone if long-lasting clinical success is to be achieved. For example, well-bonded hip implants have a 10 year failure rate, which is lowered fivefold if bonding is poor or absent. The techniques that are currently available to impart implant surfaces with the desired osteoconductive properties are essentially limited. To overcome the inherent difficulties, we have developed a ‘biomimetic’ coating process. By this means, implants with complex surface geometries, such as porous spinal implants, can be furnished with a bone-bonding surface. Furthermore, these coatings can be rendered osteoinductive as well as osteoconductive (by incorporating osteogenic agents). Using this facility, we have induced bone formation at an ectopic site in rats, and have accelerated osseointegration (bone bonding) at an orthotopic dental site in adult miniature pigs. Our preliminary results indicated that these osteoinductive dental implants bond with surrounding bone within one week instead of the usual three weeks. We believe that surfaces coated with biomimetic coatings into which osteogenic growth factors are incorporated hold great potential for use in clinical orthopaedics and dentistry.
One contribution of 18 to a Discussion Meeting Issue ‘Engineered foams and porous materials’.
- © 2005 The Royal Society