Bioactive implant coating stimulates healing process
TOMSK, Russia: One of the reasons for dental implant failure is rejection of the implant owing to the body’s immune response. Immune cells identify the implant as a foreign body and cause inflammation and finally rejection. A new bioactive coating for medical implants, developed by Russian scientists, may be able to invert this immune mechanism and encourage healing around the implant.
Scientists at Tomsk Polytechnic University have proposed resolving the issue of implant rejection by coating implants with a biologically active compound that is an analogue to the cytokine interleukin-4. This substance is able to control the behaviour of the innate immune cells, the macrophages, forcing them to stimulate the healing process instead of rejecting the implant.
“A feature of macrophages is their enormous plasticity: under different conditions the same immune cells can either fight with the implant or, conversely, stimulate the healing process. We are trying to synthesize these compounds, which could force macrophages to differentiate into a positive phenotype,” said project manager Ksenia Stankevich, a PhD student at the Department of Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry at the university’s Institute of High Technology Physics.
According to the researchers, the coating could be used for polymeric and titanium implants, which are employed in implant dentistry, as well as orthopaedic and oral surgery. Therefore, the Russian scientists hope that their development will be universally applicable in implantology. Currently, they are at the stage of synthesising the compound and are conducting experiments to determine its optimal composition.
The research project has received the support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and was awarded a gold medal at the RusBioTech international exhibition in 2016, according to the university.