During only one year, thousands of patients worldwide increase their quality of life with some kind of implant, whether it is artificial hip, knee or some other ankle, pace-maker, aorta or contact lenses. Materials that these implants are made of are produced of various kinds of metal, polymer, ceramic or composite. Ever increasing success is characterizing the implementation of these implants, as for the improved surgical interventions as well as our better and more subtle knowledge of material behaviour within the organism.
Bone tissue is especially interesting field of research, both for very frequent occurrence of osteoporosis and for the building-block nature of the organism. Natural bone consists mostly of calcium phosphate. Calcium phosphate (CP) synthesized in the Institute is very similar to the natural one, which is the main bone ingredient. The wide spectrum of composite biomaterials based on CP and biodegradable, biocompatible and bioactive polymers was synthesized. Concept of these biomaterials and implants made of them is completely new and different from the previously known. Namely, after the implantation this ‘smart material' simply becomes alive, adapts to the needs of the organism and its metabolism and finally disappears (dies) and is substituted by newly formed tissue.
Composite biomaterials mixed with grow factors form the new group of smart biomaterials, which possess not only connective but also inductive properties, in order to speed up the process of reconstruction and recovery. The principal fields of research are focused within the following area:
Powder, blocks and different components made of CP/poly-L-lactide composite biomaterial (BioHapel) with or without collagen and other resorbable components for the reparation of different bone defects.
Nanocomposite biomaterials in a form of powder or gel. Particles of CP are coated with biocompatible polymer, sizes upto 50 nm. These particles are ideal for the production of gels or pastes that enable the reconstruction by injecting them into the defect.
Nano spheres of bioresorbable polymers as the carriers of active pharmaceutical agents for the application in targeted and controlled treating of wide spectrum of benign and malign diseases.
It is of great significance that all composite biomaterials that were synthesized in our laboratory were examined on the great number of experimental animals (at the Faculties of Medicine and Stomatology) and clinical examinations are being done. The wide spectrum of different kinds of implants was synthesized and designed in our laboratory. Furthermore, the technology for the production of the small series of different kinds of implants that can be widely used in orthopaedics, maxillofacial surgery, otorinolaringology, etc., is conquered completely.