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Building a Better Artificial Hip

Monday, 24 Sep 2012 01:00 PM


Scientists are reporting progress toward developing a new generation of improved artificial hip and joint replacements – an advance that could soon offer patients a safer alternative to problematic metal-on-metal replacements.
Their development, reported in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Material & Interfaces, involves the use of so-called “tantalum nanotube” materials that flex more like natural bone than existing artificial parts, foster the growth of bone that keeps implants firmly in place, and are less likely to fail and require repeat surgery.
The team that developed the material – including Chinese scientists Hongyi Li, Jinshu Wang, and Zhenting Zhang – said metal tantalum has advantages over titanium, stainless steel, and other metals used in the current generation of bone implants.
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For example, tantalum implants are more porous than titanium, encouraging bone growth and making the implants rougher and more elastic, like natural bone. Tantalum is currently used primarily in devices that bridge fractures and other defects in bone, rather than in hip joint replacements and other joint implants.
The scientists found they were able to make better implants with the material by coating them with a film of tantalum oxide nanotubes – 1,000 times thinner than a human hair – that promoted better integration with existing bone.
The coating improves the anticorrosion, biocompatibility and other beneficial aspects of pure tantalum. The films also helped spur bone growth in tests with animal bone cells used as stand-ins for human bone.
Funding for the scientists’ research came from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education Foundation, the Guangxi Natural Science Foundation, the State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, and the City Board of Education Technology Innovation Platform.
SPECIAL: These 5 Things Flush 40 lbs. of Fat Out of Your Body — Read More.

© HealthDay

   
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Scientists are reporting progress toward developing a new generation of improved artificial hip and joint replacements.
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2012-00-24
Monday, 24 Sep 2012 01:00 PM
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