High-tech dentures resist bacteria
SEM image: E. coli bacteria can't dock to the nanostructured implant surface [Patrick Doll, KIT)
Germany-based researchers have fabricated nanostructured surfaces for dental implants to help wounds heal quickly after surgery.
A stunning SEM image reveals a surface fabricated by Professor Andreas Guber and colleagues from the Biomedical Microtechnology research group at the Institute of Microstructure Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
The researchers used electron beam lithography to write arrays of columnar nanostructures into silicon.
Each individual column measured around 500 nm in height and 100 nm in diameter, with the arrays designed to prevent bacteria from attaching to the implant and forming biofilms.
The researchers tested their difference nanoarray designs on a range of bacteria, including E. Coli, and proved that biofilm formation could be delayed, depending on the column layout.
According to the researchers, this delay will provide recovering cells with more time to close any post-operative wounds.
The researchers are now hoping to produce nanostructures from titanium - today's implant material of choice - and believe their methods can also be applied to bone plates, hearing implants, artificial joints and more.
Learn more here.