TPU student develops new wollastonite-based materials for regenerative medicine

Anna Ugodchikova, a Master student of the TPU Weinberg Research Center, develops new biocomposite materials for implants based on a metal substrate and a biocompatible wollastonite-based coating. Wollastonite is a natural calcium silicate. This project was presented at the International Youth Scientific and Practical Conference "Physical and Technical Problems in Science, Industry, and Medicine", held recently at TPU.

Photo: a system for studying the corrosion behavior of samples in physiological saline

Metals are quite common material used for producing implants due to their excellent physical and mechanical properties. However, some metals can have either a completely negative or a neutral effect on the body. One of the most biocompatible materials is magnesium and its alloys. It is almost as elastic as the human bone and does not lead to bone shielding from the load as titanium does. Nevertheless, it has a bioresorption ability or can be resorbed by the body.

To slow down implant resorptions in the body, we apply bio-coating, which, on the one hand, stimulates bone growth and its connection with the implant and, on the other hand, protects the metal from rapid corrosion.

“We use wollastonite-based materials for bio-coatings. International researchers have already demonstrated that silicate coatings, including wollastonite, show higher bioactivity than tricalcium phosphate or hydroxyapatite. It is applied to the implant surface through micro-arc oxidation.

Currently, this method is very popular and one of the most effective due to its simplicity and high efficiency. First and foremost, it is used to apply bioactive coatings on implants of complex shape“,

— Anna Ugodchikova says.

Currently, Anna is researching changes in biocoating properties by varying parameters of the micro-arc oxidation process, such as duration of application and pulses, pulse repetition rate, and others.

Photo: wollastonite / kamniexpert.ru

Even though many scientists around the world are engaged in surface modification, including the production of biocompatible coatings, there are still enough blind spots. Researchers attempt to find a completely new class of bioactive coatings with even greater bioactivity. Silicate coatings are a promising type of coating.

“This research field is relevant and important since it can benefit greatly to traumatology, orthopedics, and dental surgery. If we manage to find the most optimal material, method and modes of production, and this is a very complex issue, in the future, patients will not need follow-up operations. It will reduce recovery time and, of course, treatment costs,” the young scientist says.

The studies are supported by the Fundamental Research Program of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Prof. Yuri Sharkeev and the research project supervisor Maria Sedelnikova, laboratory members of the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science SB RAS also participate in the studies.

Tomsk Polytechnic University held the International Youth Scientific and Practical Conference "Physical and Technical Problems in Science, Industry, and Medicine", which brought together students, PhD students, young scientists of research institutes and industrial enterprises. They presented their reports in the fields of energy, medicine, nuclear industry, and information technology.

Reference:

Wollastonite is a natural calcium silicate. It is widely used as a substitute for harmful asbestos. It is applied as a filler additive in plastics, in non-ferrous metallurgy, in the tire, asbestos-cement and paint and varnish industries, and ceramic production.