TSU ñhemists develop biocompatible composite materials to replace bone tissue
Daria Lytkina, a junior researcher at the Laboratory of Catalytic Research, became the winner of the Programme of Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology "UMNIK." The project, which she introduced, is dedicated to the design and technology of composite materials for the replacement and restoration of bone tissue.
- Modern science and medicine are now favoring natural tissue regeneration over the use of foreign materials - says Daria Lytkina. - That is why at the moment one of the most important tasks is to develop a technology for biocomposites, which have a high affinity for the body and a low risk of rejection, and completely dissolve in the body. Such materials are composites based on hydroxyapatite and biodegradable polymers. As compared with other materials for bone replacement, this new material has none of the drawbacks of its precursors, such as poor biocompatibility, poor crack resistance, and the necessity of replacement.
The material consists of biodegradable polymers and hydroxyapatite obtained in the laboratory, as a substance that is a mineral base of human bones.
- In the case of some kind of fracture or serious disease that requires replacement of the bone section, we will make an implant from our material. The polymer will maintain the shape of the implant, - says Daria Lytkina. - Hydroxyapatite is like a building material for bones. It becomes a part of the bone and stimulates its growth. The polymer will also degrade to lactic acid, which, entering the biochemical cycles of the organism, will be removed from it in a natural way in the form of carbon dioxide and water.
The uniqueness of this technology is that the material does not need to be removed from the body. The probability that the implant will not take hold is much lower than that of titanium or ceramic implants - it will eventually dissolve and leave the body. The material is absolutely harmless to humans. The first tests of biocompatibility have been conducted and now scientists are planning to file a patent for their invention. The work is continuing in the Department of Polymers and Monomers of the Laboratory of Catalytic Research and the Department of Inorganic Chemistry of TSU's Faculty of Chemistry.