Biohybrid Limbs: New Materials and New PropertiesBy Aaron, Roy K.; Morgan, Jeffrey R.; Medicine & Health Rhode Island, Vol. 90, No. 1, pp. 4-6
Publication Date: January 2007
Paper presents osseointegrated transcutaneous implants, a novel biohybrid structure that has the potential to create an improved interface between a residual limb after amputation and a biomimetic, or bionic, prosthetic limb. The technique of osseointegration integrates a titanium implant with bone; the implant extends from the bone to exit through the skin, creating an anchor for the prosthetic limb. This method bypasses skin contact with the prosthesis, thereby circumventing problems associated with prosthetic fixation such as skin ulceration, infection and pain. In osseointegration, the living bone becomes fused with the oxide layer of the titanium and this anchorage persist under normal conditions of weight bearance, thus allowing osseo-perception, the ability of patients to identify tactile thresholds transmitted through their prostheses. The focus of the research presented is on preventing corrosion at the site of the implant which can lead to infections and prosthesis loosening. This can be done by treating the surface of the titanium in such a way as to provide a porous surface that enhances cell adhesion. A novel method was devised to produce thin films of titanium and its alloys with which to control the chemistry, grain size and morphology of the metal surface, to facilitate the screening of a large array of chemistries and morphologies to identify those optimal for cell attachment.
Rhode Island Department of Health (Web Site: http://www.health.state.ri.us )
Rhode Island Medical Society (Web Site: http://www.rimed.org )
Link to text: http://www.rimed.org/pdf/mhri/m07JanmhriCME.pdf