“Activation of the body’s innate immune system is one of the most common reasons for an implant being rejected,” explains Professor Hans Elwing from the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. “We can now show why the body more easily integrates implants with a nanostructured surface than a smooth one.”
The researchers used a unique method to produce nanostructures on gold surfaces, creating gold particles just 10-18 nm in diameter and binding them to a completely smooth gold surface at carefully regulated distances. The result is something akin to a cobbled street in miniature.
Nanosized irregularities mimic body’s natural structures
Giving implants this cobbled surface reduces the activation of important parts of the innate immune system. This is because several of the proteins involved are of a similar size to these nanosized cobbles, and so do not change in appearance when they land on the surface. This gives the body a greater ability to integrate foreign objects such as implants, pacemakers and drug capsules into its own tissues, as well as reducing the risk of local inflammation.“It may be that the innate immune system is designed to react to smooth surfaces, because these are not found naturally in the body,” says Elwing. “Some bacteria, on the other hand, do have a completely smooth surface.”
Modern nanotechnology makes it easy and cheap to surface-treat implants and drug capsules, but it will probably be several years before this becomes a reality in human medicine. The focus now is on customising titanium implants of various kinds.
Surface can be graded
“We’ve developed a graded surface with different cobbelstone package that we think can be used for bone implants,” says Elwing. “Bone is very hard on the outside but then gets softer, so it would be good to have hard integration on the surface and softer integration underneath. We reckon we can make titanium screws that are denser at the head of the screw so that they fuse best at the top. This kind of customisation is the future.”
Research into the body’s innate immune system was rewarded this year with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The laboratory work was carried out at the University of Gothenburg, and the project is a collaboration between the BIOMATCELL centre of excellence in Gothenburg, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden in Borås and Bactiguard AB in Stockholm.
The article “Immune complement activation is attenuated by surface nanotopography” by Mats Hulander, Anders Lundgren, Mattias Berglin, Mattias Ohrlander, Jukka Lausmaa and dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S24578Hans Elwing was published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine:Contact:
Helena Aaberg | idw
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences