Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Engineered biomaterial could improve success of medical implants

15.05.2013
It’s a familiar scenario – a patient receives a medical implant and days later, the body attacks the artificial valve or device, causing complications to an already compromised system.
Expensive, state-of-the-art medical devices and surgeries often are thwarted by the body’s natural response to attack something in the tissue that appears foreign. Now, University of Washington engineers have demonstrated in mice a way to prevent this sort of response. Their findings were published online this week in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

The UW researchers created a synthetic substance that fully resists the body’s natural attack response to foreign objects. Medical devices such as artificial heart valves, prostheses and breast implants could be coated with this polymer to prevent the body from rejecting an implanted object.

“It has applications for so many different medical implants, because we literally put hundreds of devices into the body,” said Buddy Ratner, co-author and a UW professor of bioengineering and of chemical engineering. “We couldn’t achieve this level of excellence in healing before we had this synthetic hydrogel.”

The body’s biological response to implanted devices – medical technologies that often cost millions to develop – has frustrated experts for years. After an implant, the body usually creates a protein wall around the medical device, cutting it off from the rest of the body. Scientists call this barrier a collagen capsule. Collagen is a protein that’s naturally found in our bodies, particularly in connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.

If a device such as an artificial valve or an electrode sensor is blocked off from the rest of the body, it usually fails to work. Physicians and scientists have tried to minimize this, but they haven’t been able to eliminate it, Ratner said.

Ratner’s collaborator and co-author Shaoyi Jiang, a UW professor of chemical engineering, and his team implanted the polymer substance into the bodies of mice. The substance is known as a hydrogel, a flexible biomedical material swollen with water. It’s made from a polymer that has both a positive and negative charge, which serves to deflect all proteins from sticking to its surface. Scientists have found that proteins appearing on the surface of a medical implant are the first signs that a larger collagen wall will form.

After three months, Jiang and his team found that collagen was loosely and evenly distributed in the tissue around the polymer, suggesting that the mice bodies didn’t even detect the polymer’s presence.

For humans, the first three weeks after an implant are the most critical, because by then the body will show signs of isolating the implant by building a collagen wall. If this hasn’t happened in the first several weeks, it’s likely the body won’t default to an attack response toward the object.

“Scientists have tried many materials, and with no exception, this is the first non-porous, synthetic substance demonstrating that no collagen capsule forms, which could have positive implications for implantable materials, tissue scaffolds and medical devices,” Jiang said.

UW researchers and others have worked for nearly 20 years to find a way to help the body accept implants. In 1996, the National Science Foundation-funded UW Engineered Biomaterials (UWEB) research center opened at the UW, with Ratner serving as director. Since that time, researchers have been trying to make a material that is invisible to the body’s immune response and could eliminate the body’s negative reaction to medical implants.

Now, nearly two decades years later, engineers have found the “perfect” substance, Ratner said.

“This hydrogel is not just pretty good, it’s exceptional,” he said.

The UW researchers plan to test this in humans, likely by working with manufacturers to coat an implantable device with the polymer, then measure its ability to ward off protein build-up.

The research was funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, UWEB and the UW Department of Chemical Engineering.

For more information, contact Ratner at ratner@uw.edu or 206-685-1005 and Jiang at sjiang@uw.edu. Jiang is traveling this week and is available by email.

Michelle Ma | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uw.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Glass's off-kilter harmonies
18.01.2017 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

nachricht Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level
18.01.2017 | Institute for Basic Science

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>