Scientists Develop Technology to Produce Bioactive Coating with Antibacterial Effect

Belgrade – A group of NUST MISIS scientists developed an innovative technology for producing a bioactive coating with an antibacterial effect. This technology will be used in medicine and allows scientists to cover implants with coating that protects the human body from inflammation, helps to avoid implant rejection and reduces the post-operative period.

Occurrence of inflammatory responses is one of the main problems that hinder fast implant integration into living tissue. A highly adhesive biofilm forms on the surface of the implant as a result of bacteria and fungi colonisation. This biofilm is not easy to remove by traditional drug therapy.

Covering implants with the antibacterial coating developed by NUST MISIS scientists is an effective way of solving this problem.

The new technology is an innovative method for surface treatment of metals and their alloys. Its secret lies in electrical discharge machining, i.e., the surface of an implant is treated with an electrode material of unique composition. This material contains biocompatible metal and bioactive and antibacterial supplements in the required proportion. Therefore, the implant is covered with a coating that includes elements that destroy bacteria while preserving bioactive and biocompatible properties of the surface.

The newly developed technology will be used to treat implants made from various alloys that are accepted for medical use. For instance, it can be used to produce titanium implants that are designed to replace damaged areas of bone tissue. These are orthopaedic and dental implants, implants for oral, maxillofacial or spinal surgery, artificial joints, clamps, etc. In general, these are the implants that are subject to high mechanical loads.

“This coating is the third, improved generation of bioactive coatings. It contains elements that kill harmful bacteria. The implant coating protects the body from inflammation, helps to avoid implant failures and therefore contributes to twofold reduction of the post-operative period,” said one of the heads of the research team Professor Evgeny Levashov, Head of the Department of Powder Metallurgy and Functional Coatings at NUST MISIS, Director of the Scientific-Educational Centre of SHS (Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis).

According to Levashov, the new antibacterial coating is not only on equal footing with its analogues around the world, but even surpasses them in some ways. The scientists have been developing this new technology for three years and still continue to work on it. However, they have patented their technology both in Russia and in the international system PTC (the Patent Cooperation Treaty).

Currently, the new technology is required to undergo clinical trials, a process that directly depends on funding.

The National University of Science and Technology MISIS is one of Russia’s most dynamically developing centres for research and education. Being among the leaders of technology education in Russia, NUST MISIS is also a large research centre.