Iranian researchers from Shiraz University of Technology designed a nanocoating in a laboratorial research, which reduces inflammation caused by implants in the body.
The nanocoating is made of biocompatible materials and has a long effective life due to its desirable properties. Results of the research have applications in tissue engineering.
The mechanical behavior of nickel-titanium alloy is more close to that of bone tissue in comparison with other metallic implants, and it has greater effects on the bone growth and treatment of the damaged tissue. Therefore, this alloy is considered an appropriate choice to be used in tissue engineering. However, the biocompatibility of the alloy is low due to the presence of high amount of nickel and the reaction with the surrounding tissues and it causes problems such as skin inflammation and blisters.
The aim of the research was to create a biocompatible coating to be used on implants made of nickel-titanium. Taking into consideration the fact that nickel composes about 50% of the weight of nickel-titanium implants, nickel ions are released inside the body and they cause some problems.
The coating designed in this research is a nanocomposite made of hydroxyapatite powder and titanium dioxide nanoparticles. The coating blocks the nickel ions and prevents their diffusion into the body.
Among other advantages of the proposed nanocoating, mention can be made of decreasing the risk of allergy and poisoning caused due to the contact of nickel with tissues, and the prevention of secondary surgery to remove the implant.
Results of the research have been published in Surface and Interface Analysis, vol. 47, issue 2, 2015, pp. 176-183.