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Siberian scientists improve polymer implants’ compatibility with human body

September 14, 11:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Researchers have come up with an innovation for treating polymers with plasma that makes polymer implants better adjust to the human body

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. Researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) have come up with an innovation for treating polymers with plasma that makes polymer implants better adjust to the human body, the TPU press office said. The study’s results have been published in the research journal Materials & Design.

Polymers which are normally used for implants do not interact with liquids and, consequently, are not suitable to be applied inside the body. To alter this property, researchers placed implant material into the plasma generator. This sort of treatment led to the formation of a chemically active layer on the surface of the material, which makes it possible to combine, for example, a liquid and a polymer.

"Our experiments have proven that an implant treated with atmospheric plasma has an enhanced biocompatibility," said Sergey Tverdokhlebov, Chief of the TPU research group of physicists.

Biocompatible polymer materials are applied to restore damaged human tissues and organs. Polymers act as a scaffold-like skeletal frame, on top of which living cells build required structures, for example, the missing tissues of blood vessels.

The newest implant has been already checked for its ability to survive in the human body. Experiments with living cells have shown that a modified bioactive surface does not experience attacks from the immune system’s cells, implying that such a hydride material would not be rejected. The modified material might be applied for creating tissues (or organs) when curing burns, lesions, ulcers and other conditions.

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