The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee has come up with a method to deal with the after-effects of biomedical grade implants and minimise the chances of bacterial infections in joint replacement procedures. Nearly 10 per cent of bone implants lead to failures due to diseases, which call for high doses of medication, according to researchers.
This method will modify the surface of metallic implants and load it with an antibacterial drug, which is released gradually over a period of one week or more at the implant site to prevent infections.
Lead researcher Debrupa Lahiri commented, “Our surface-modified implant is a novel technique that addresses localised and long-term drug release for areas that are prone to post-surgical infections which often arise during joint replacement procedures. The modified implant surface serves for both drug delivery and bone integration. The Indian patent is in process.”
By using the plasma spray technique, a 200-micron thick layer of hydroxyapatite (HA) was coated on a titanium metal alloy sheet. HA is biocompatible material with a bone-like mineral composition and used in ceramic implants.
The team found that the polymer-HA combination had an added benefit, improving the impact resistance of the implant by 42 per cent. The researchers include professor Partha Roy at IIT Roorkee and professor Arvind Agarwal at Florida International University, USA along with their respective teams. The other researchers involved in the project are Manoj Kumar R and Kanike Rajesh.