Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

PERCERAMICS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 504937
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Latvia

Enhancing function of nature’s bone-building blocks

EU-funded researchers prepared novel biocompatible ‘platforms’ with molecular-scale structure suitable for bone regeneration and removal of microorganisms in food and health applications.
Enhancing function of nature’s bone-building blocks
Hydroxylapatite, also known as hydroxyapatite (HA), is an inorganic mineral accounting for much of a bone’s weight and strength. Porous HA ceramics have found many uses in bone tissue regeneration due to their active nature, or ability to facilitate bone formation. Electrical polarisation of HA ceramics has been shown to enhance osteobonding capability.

With the advent of nanotechnology, scientists have opened the door to a host of interesting functionalities of nano-scale structures (on the scale of atoms and molecules) not seen in bulk material of the same composition.

European researchers sought to build on such unique functionalities by developing nano-structured, electrically-polarised HA ceramics for a variety of uses with funding of the ‘Multifunctional percolated nanostructured ceramics fabricated from hydroxylapatite’ (Perceramics) project.

Among the potential applications are bio-implants, platforms for synthesis of biologically active compounds and use in purification systems (capturing and filtering substances due to electrical charge and large surface area).

Scientists successfully developed computational models of cell adherence and new technology for fabrication of HA nanopowders. Together, they facilitated the development of new methods for electrical charge deposition on HA ceramics and for nano-patterning resulting in improved quality of bio-implants.

In addition, researchers developed novel technology for immobilisation of microorganisms not suitably immobilised on other carriers through the use of Perceramics. Project advances could prove particularly useful to the food industry, to the synthesis of biologically active molecules and to environmental protection.

Perceramics' concepts have extended the potential uses of electrically-polarised HA ceramics by demonstrating their use as platforms for synthesis of biological molecules as well as for filters of microorganisms from food or the environment.

Commercialisation could thus benefit sectors including bioremediation, health and environmental safety and industrial biotechnology.

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