The decline of human health is one of the most unrelenting issues that advanced medicine is facing. Primarily, it concerns the extensive degradation of hard tissues – teeth and bones. To solve this issue, it is essential to develop medical materials that can restore the structure of hard tissues. The chemical base of such materials is provided by hydroxyapatite, an inorganic compound, which is one of the key components of teeth and bones.
Chemists at Lobachevsky University headed by Professor Alexander Knyazev have created a new one-stage technology for making artificial nano-hydroxyapatite, which is used for forming implants, restoring tooth enamel and skin defects.
Key benefits of the new technology include:
- the possibility of chemical modification for regulating mechanical and biological properties;
- increased biocompatibility with human cells as compared with current materials;
- the possibility of developing various materials (from nanopowders to ceramics with varying porosity).
To manufacture such ceramic materials, a unique technique of spark plasma sintering is also applied.
A new research line is to develop hydroxyapatite-based materials that incorporate antimicrobial properties and biological compatibility with human cells. It is realized by chemical modification of the compound. The research is performed in partnership with the Volga Federal Medical Research Center of Russia's Health Ministry.
The key application areas for the results of this research are: orthopedics and traumatology (bone implants); aesthetic medicine (fillers for smoothing mimic wrinkles); pharmaceutical industry (biologically active food additives as a source of calcium); coatings for medical devices and instruments.