Researchers at Washington State University have developed a new type of alloy for surgical implants that killed 87% of the bacteria that cause infections after operations in laboratory tests. The basis is titanium to which small amounts of copper and tantalum have been added.
In tests with staphylococci, the cause of dreaded hospital infections, the coated metal surface proved to be extremely effective. According to the scientists, the alloy also promotes the growth of bone and tissue cells.
The researchers used 3D printing to produce prototypes of the antibacterial implants. They examined the mechanical properties, compatibility and toxicity in detail. The aim now is to increase the bacteria-killing rate through further development.
The aim is to make titanium-based implants such as hip and knee prostheses more resistant to infections. Bacterial colonization is one of the main causes of failure of such implants. The new material composition is intended to address this risk directly and thus improve treatment success.
Die Arbeit “Additively manufactured Ti-Ta-Cu alloys for the next-generation load-bearing implants” haben die Forscher im International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing publiziert.