Researcher develops new coating to help bone implants last

September 20, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Two Colorado State University professors have developed a nanostructured surface coating for bone that is expected to help improve the lifetime of bone implants.

The research, if proven, could someday help someone replace injured or diseased bone segments without losing a limb.

Matt Kipper, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering and biomedical engineering, has received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Muscoskeletal Transplant Foundation to take his discovery to the next level and test it using bone allografts. Allografts are bones that are donated through tissue banks and used to replace large segments of missing bone following massive limb trauma or tumor surgery. Kipper, who is in the College of Engineering, will work with Dr. Nicole Ehrhart in the Animal Cancer Center, part of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, on the research.

"These types of implants have a high incidence of failure, related to healing where that implant was put in. Sometimes failures occur years after the implant procedure," Kipper said.

Kipper developed a tiny or nanostructured material that can coat a large, dead piece of bone like a femur . His new coating stabilizes important proteins that drive bone and cell activities associated with the creation of new healthy bone. He uses derived from bone marrow or fat to help healthy cells grow in the place of in existing bone implants.

"We control the structure of these coatings at the molecular scale," Kipper said, noting that scientists must use a special microscope to study nanoscale features that are smaller than . "We've proven this by growing cells on other types of surfaces – glass, titanium and plastic. "Now we're translating those materials to bone.

"I couldn't do this if I weren't at an institution that had a top research veterinary school."

Ehrhart is a professor in and a specialist in cancer surgery at Colorado State's Animal Cancer Center. She developed a method to perform limb salvage surgeries in small animals using bone allografts and is working with Kipper to test the healing of coated bones versus noncoated bones. Together they hope to demonstrate that they can safely stabilize the proteins they want and cause stem cells to grow. This research will benefit both humans and animals at risk for losing a limb due to massive bone trauma or bone cancer.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Hibernating ground squirrels provide clues to new stroke treatments

November 17, 2017
In the fight against brain damage caused by stroke, researchers have turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: hibernating ground squirrels.

Age and gut bacteria contribute to multiple sclerosis disease progression

November 17, 2017
Researchers at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School published a study suggesting that gut bacteria at young age can contribute to multiple sclerosis (MS) disease onset and progression.

Molecular guardian defends cells, organs against excess cholesterol

November 16, 2017
A team of researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health has illuminated a critical player in cholesterol metabolism that acts as a molecular guardian in cells to help maintain cholesterol levels within a safe, ...

Prototype ear plug sensor could improve monitoring of vital signs

November 16, 2017
Scientists have developed a sensor that fits in the ear, with the aim of monitoring the heart, brain and lungs functions for health and fitness.

Ancient enzyme could boost power of liquid biopsies to detect and profile cancers

November 16, 2017
Scientists are developing a set of medical tests called liquid biopsies that can rapidly detect the presence of cancers, infectious diseases and other conditions from only a small blood sample. Researchers at The University ...

FDA to crack down on risky stem cell offerings

November 16, 2017
U.S. health authorities announced plans Thursday to crack down on doctors pushing stem cell procedures that pose the gravest risks to patients amid an effort to police a burgeoning medical field that previously has received ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.