(Science Daily) Every year, more than a million Americans receive an artificial hip or knee prosthesis. Such implants are designed to last many years, but in about 17 percent of patients who receive a total joint replacement, the implant eventually loosens and has to be replaced early, which can cause dangerous complications for elderly patients.
To help minimize these burdensome operations, a team of MIT chemical engineers has developed a new coating for implants that could help them better adhere to the patient's bone, preventing premature failure. "This would allow the implant to last much longer, to its natural lifetime, with lower risk of failure or infection," says Paula Hammond…, senior author of a paper on the work…
The coating, which induces the body's own cells to produce bone that fixes the implant in place, could also be used to help heal fractures and to improve dental implants, according to Hammond
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