SAS scientists have developed a unique material for dental implants
A research team of scientists from the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics SAS has developed a unique composite material BIACOM® (BIoActive COmposite Metal) for titanium-based bone implants. Implants made of this material are suitable for permanent presence and function in the human body, for applications exposed to high and cyclic mechanical stress, which is especially true for dental implants.
“BIACOM® consists of two mutually insoluble metals of different properties. In the supporting permanent titanium matrix structure, there is a biologically decomposable component - magnesium, in the form of homogeneously distributed, purposefully directed and interconnected fibres. The specific microstructure of the titanium matrix provides the composite implant with mechanical strength, fatigue life and chemical resistance, while the magnesium component reduces the module of elasticity, i.e., the solidity constant characteristic of the given material and improves bone tissue integration,” said Martin Balog from the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics SAS.
By gradually degrading the magnesium component first from the surface and later from the core of the implant, pores, which lead to a further decrease in the module of elasticity, are formed Simultaneously, they create space for firm fixation of the implant in the bone. The pores allow the bone tissue to grow into the implant, creating a quality mechanical connection between the bone and the implant.
“By using a new material prepared by conventional powder metallurgy methods, the main flaws of the titanium implants used so far from Class 4 and 5 materials have been reduced. The disadvantage of class 4 and 5 titanium is their module of elasticity, which is significantly greater than the module of bone, which can lead to local release of the implant. At the same time, the titanium implants used so far had insufficient surface activity, which needs to be improved by additional operations,” said A.M.H. Ibrahim from the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics SAS.
Specific BIACOM® dental implants were manufactured in cooperation with the Slovak company MARTIKAN s.r.o., which is focused on the production and sale of biomedical titanium implants.
“We put the BIACOM® implants to tests according to the relevant ISO standards with excellent results, during which time the mechanical and fatigue properties and corrosion behaviour had been assessed. In cooperation with foreign and domestic partners (School of Dental Medicine in Zagreb, Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Gebze and Biomedical Research Center SAS), the biocompatibility in in-vitro conditions was evaluated, and preliminary in-vivo implantation tests were performed on large animal models,“ said Peter Krížik from the Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics SAS.
In order to ensure the industrial and legal protection of BIACOM® implants, several patent applications have been filed: the international PCT, the EPO and the Israeli patent application. The scientists and experts involved in the project are currently intensely carrying out activities in order to commercialise the application of this unique solution.
Photo: Institute of Materials and Machine Mechanics SAS