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TECNALIA investigates advanced biomaterials to make more reliable and hardwearing medical implants

The TECNALIA Technological Corporation is taking part in the Cénit Intelimplant project, the goal of which is to develop advanced biomaterials based on innovative technologies (microtechnologies, nanotechnologies, tissue and surface engineering) for the manufacture of a new generation of implants which have greater durability and reliability, need less recuperation time and that provide data on their state and progress.

The Cénit Intelimplant project (Development of Advanced Biomaterials for a New Generation of Implants), led by the Biotechnology Institute (BTI), was one of the 16 projects approved by the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) for the third CÉNIT programme announcement or call, within the Spanish Government INGENIO 2010 initiative.

The end goal of the project is the development of novel biomaterials which enable an extension of the functions of the implant throughout the whole life of the patient, in such a way that repeat surgical operations are avoided; the reliability and the integration of the implants are enhanced and tissue rejection avoided; the recuperation times for patients are significantly cut and the implants are operational in a minimum time; the state and progress of the implant monitored, both in the short term and in the long term after the surgical operation; the new materials will indicate any anomaly and enable the application of preventative therapies; and finally, they will simplify surgical practice, progressing to minimally invasive surgery and the automation of stages during an operation.

The project will be undertaken by a consortium made up of 15 companies, including state-of-the-art Spanish enterprises in the field of implants, BTI Biotechnology Institute, SURGIVAL, LAFITT, SOCINSER and IHT, as well as the most important ones in the value chain of their manufacture: KERAMAT, Laboratories INIBSA, BIOKER Research, METAL-ESTALKI, BIOVAC, DMP, i2m-DESIGN, ANÁLISIS & SIMULACIÓN (AyS), IHS WEIGLING and GEM-IMAGING.

The Intelimplant project involves groups belonging to 16 public and private research bodies: TECNALIA, the Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia-IBV, the Institute of Polymers Science and Technology (ICTP-CSIC), the University of León, the University of Vigo, the University of Málaga, the National Microelectronics Centre (CNM-CSIC), the Institute for Corpuscular Physics (IFIC-CSIC), the Institute of Ceramica Galicia, the Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC), PRODINTEC, INCAR, ICMM-CSIC, the University of Barcelona, the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation and the Chemical Institute of Sarriá (IQS).

Carrying out this project will also enable fomenting synergies and reducing project development times through drawing up a joint-working framework between the various multidisciplinary players within the Science-Technology-Enterprise network.

These players have knowledge and experience that complement each other and which are present throughout the whole value chain of the sector and, as a consequence, will give rise to enhanced competitiveness amongst the participating companies, thus reducing excessive external dependence, readdressing the unfavourable situation of our country as regards the transfer of research results by OPIs and CITs to companies in this field of advanced biomaterials, and improving the scientific-technical level of the enterprises taking part in the project.

All this with the target of being in a more advantageous position to participate in international programmes of cooperation in scientific research and technological development, such as the FP VII.

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
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