A group of young scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University are developing a bioactive coating for medical implants. Due to its properties, it will be able to "convince" the body not to reject the artificial bones and joints.
Basically, implant rejection is caused by the negative reaction of immunity cells. "Detecting" a foreign body in the body they can cause inflammation and the cascade of reactions leading to rejection.
The young scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University propose to resolve implant rejection problems by covering implants with biologically active compound, which is an analogue to the cytokine interleukin 4. This substance is able to control the behavior of the innate immune cells - macrophages - forcing them to stimulate the healing process, not rejection of 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," says the project manager Ksenia Stankevich, a PhD student at the Department of Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry, the TPU Institute of High-Technology Physics.
The young scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University plan to put the developed compound analogues on biodegradable polymeric implants. Small joints and parts for dental implantology are made of them. The project manager also notes that the material is suitable for application in titanium implants which large bones to restore the hands and feet are preferably made of. Thus, the development of the polytechnicers will become a universal assistant in implantology.
Now the scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University are on the stage of synthesizing the compound: laboratory experiments help them find the compound's optimal composition. This development has already received the support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and a gold medal at the RusBioTech international exhibition in 2016.
Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU)