Feature stories | Technology & innovation

Researchers develop highly biocompatible cranioplastic solution

27 Dec '21
An innovative hybrid plate for cranial defects treatment has been developed in Russia. The solution comes from a research team at Moscow-based MISiS University. The plate is reported to show a considerably higher level of bioactivity than any other analog that currently exists Ė an achievement that the team says ensures an implantís good integration into the bone tissue with a minimum possible risk of rejection. The solution may be applied in neural surgery and trauma treatment.

The problem

Skull defects may be both congenital and trauma-caused. To rectify the problem and protect the brain against any external impact special titanium plates are currently used. Unfortunately, there are serious downsides in all of those. The key one is low bioactivity; such a plate can hardly interact normally with a patientís own osseous tissue.

In addition, metal-based plates have high thermal conductivity which may bring a patient certain discomfort. In winter, metal plates cool deep enough to cause hypothermia in tissues that surround the implant. In summer, they trigger strong enough heating.

A solution

Researchers at MISiS Universityís Composite Materials Center have developed and patented a new hybrid plate for cranioplastic reconstructions, which consists of three functional layers to address the above described issues of bioactivity and proper thermal conductivity, as well as strength.

Layer one is a bioactive porous 2-5mm thick stratum based on ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which helps a patientís own tissue grow through the plate and develop firm enough consolidation with the cranial bones.

Layer two is reinforcing 0.1-0.6mm thick meshwork based on a titanium alloy, to make sure the plate is strong enough.

Layer three is a continuous UHMWPE-based smooth coating 100-250Ķm thick, designed for the plateís thermal conductivity to nearly match that of surrounding tissues.

Tested: it works

The new plate has been tested and its biocompatibility proven; the bodyís connective tissue effectively grew through the implantís porous layer, letting multiple blood vessels develop in it. The scientific team believes this guarantees implant survival and minimizes the risk of complications to develop at a later stage.

The plate has been designed in such a way that enables its adjustment to the shape and size of a defect. The solution may be used in both human and veterinary medicine.
Oleg Kouzbit, managing editor: ďIím glad you join us here and take The Bridge walk for Marchmontís weekly review of the Russian regionsí innovative present and future. Stay close and youíll find out more of how Russia is bridging the existing gap between its researchers and businesses.Ē
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Tags: plate (7) / MISiS (42) / ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (0) / skull defects (0) / cranioplastic reconstruction (0) /

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