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Content archived on 2024-06-16

Development of extended-lifetime organic-inorganic scaffolds for orthopaedical applications


Musculo-skeletal conditions are the most common causes of severe long-term pain and physical disability, affecting hundreds of million of people across the world and with a cost to society that Swedish health economists have calculated to be by far the hig hest, even compared to brain and mental diseases added together. Therefore, the demand for biomaterials to replace bone functions and improve quality of life is rapidly increasing. Today's implants have a variety of shortcomings related to their fixation, and, unlike natural bone, cannot self-repair or adapt to changing physiological conditions. Thus, an ideal solution, and a scientific research challenge, is to develop bone-like biomaterials that will be treated by the host as normal tissue matrices and induce cell penetration and proliferation after implantation while their mechanical properties match those of the tissue to be repaired (low density, low stiffness, and high strength). The proposed work is focused on the development and evaluation of novel adaptive dense inorganic-organic composite biomaterials with features controlled down to the nano-level that will combine optimum mechanical properties with different degrees of controlled resorbability. In a step-by-step approach, a wide spectrum of materi als with different organic components and micro-structural architecture will be fabricated by infiltrating inorganic porous scaffolds with different resorbable polymers. These dense materials will have better mechanical properties than porous ceramic scaffolds alone. Also, during their biodegradation, there will be a programmed unmasking of different micro-architectures, chemical patterns, and porosities, in order to promote bone ingrowth while maintaining the mechanical stability of the implant-tissue inter face. The proposed study will therefore allow one to design and optimize new bone implants with improved osteo-integration and long-term mechanical integrity.

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