Medical Design Briefs - February 2024 - 66

Collaboration to Explore Next-Generation Biomedical Implants
University of Manchester
Manchester, UK
A
new collaboration between
The University of Manchester
and CICECO-Aveiro Institute
of Materials could transform the
field of biomedical implants.
The University of Manchester's
Dr. Beatriz Mingo -
RAEng Engineers Trust Young
Engineer of the Year 2022 -
will collaborate with Dr. Isabel
Sousa from CICERO-Aveiro Institute
of Materials - a highly
ranked materials science research
unit in Portugal (Portuguese
Science Foundation) -
to develop a technology that has
the potential to serve as the
foundation for the next generation
of biomedical implants with
enhanced properties.
Biodegradable materials for
orthopedic implants, such as
screws, nails, or staples are of increasing
clinical interest due to
their ability to dissolve naturally
after the bone has healed. This
removes the need for additional surgical
interventions to remove the implant,
and the risk of further complication that
this can cause.
society
" This will positively impact
by
treatment times for patients
while
relieving
providing
the
shorter
financial
burden of the NHS, " says Mingo,
who is senior lecturer and
Royal Academy of Engineering
Fellow at The University of
Manchester.
Crystal violet lactone melamine formaldehyde capsules. (Credit: University of
Manchester)
create a solution by developing a smart
multilayer coating for magnesium substrates
in which each layer offers a specific
functionality.
Magnesium, with its bone-like density
and biocompatibility, is considered
the ideal material. However, its rate of
degradation is extremely high and currently
does not last the complete bone
healing period.
In the new project, funded by the
Royal Society, Mingo and Sousa aim to
The ceramic layer increases the implant
life, matching the rate of biodegradation
to that of the bone healing
time; while the organic top-coat loaded
with encapsulated antibiotics, simultaneously
releases antibiotic molecules
in-situ where infections are most likely
to occur.
" Our proposed technology
has the potential to provide a
foundation that transforms the
future use of biomedical implants,
creating an application
that both optimizes the healing
process through the release of
antibiotics, while eradicating
the need for follow up surgeries
- an additional risk of infection
- to remove the implants, "
says Mingo. " This will positively
impact society by providing
shorter treatment times for patients
while relieving the financial
burden of the NHS. "
The research grant is part of
Royal Society initiative to stimulate international
collaborations with leading
scientists. As part of the grant, Mingo's
group members will visit the University
of Aveiro to develop biodegradable
gelatin capsules containing antibiotic
agents. Sousa will in turn visit Manchester
to incorporate these particles into
coatings formed on magnesium-based
components.
Polyurea formaldehyde capsules. (Credit: University of
Manchester)
66
Gelatin spheres. (Credit: University of Manchester)
www.medicaldesignbriefs.com
Mingo is a materials scientist at The
University of Manchester, whose research
focuses on environmentally
friendly surface treatments for light alloys.
In addition to this project, she is
also developing high-performance
smart materials that can release corrosion
inhibitors in response to the
change in pH that accompanies the
start of the corrosion process. Her research
could extend the lifetime of
lightweight components used in transport,
which will help to create energyefficient
vehicles and support sustainable
consumption of resources.
For more information, visit www.
manchester.ac.uk. Contact: Beatriz Mingo
at beatriz.mingo@manchester.ac.uk.
Medical Design Briefs, February 2024
http://www.manchester.ac.uk http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com

Medical Design Briefs - February 2024

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