Enhanced fibroblast activity at the soft tissue-implant interface can dramatically decrease the stability, function, and lifespan of biomedical implants such as bone anchored prostheses. Although bone anchoring systems dramatically improve prosthetic limb mechanical stability, uncontrolled fibrosis at the soft tissue-mounting post interface is a significant problem. The aberrant cell growth leads to irregular skin folds that prevent proper sealing to the bone anchoring post and also serves as a site for opportunistic infection and failure of the prosthetic system. We are developing a bioactive vibrational coating to control fibrous tissue overgrowth. The coating is based on a magnetoelastic (ME) material that can be set to vibrate at a predetermined amplitude and frequency using a controlled magnetic field. We hypothesize that small local vibrations can be used to selectively control cell adhesion and gene expression to promote and maintain functional stability at the implant-tissue interface. For bone anchored prostheses, the ME coating would be applied around the mounting post at the soft tissue interface. The specific aims of this work were to (1) modify the coating for use in contact with a biologic environment and (2) determine if local vibrational strain can efficiently control cell attachment to the coating without significantly influencing viability. First, two common biocompatible polymers, polyurethane and chitosan, were deposited as thin films on the ME coating to allow for its use in tissue culture. An indirect cytotoxicity test was used to determine fibroblast (L929) viability in media conditioned for 24 and 48 hours with uncoated, chitosan coated, and polyurethane coated ME materials. Results demonstrated that both polymer coatings returned cell survival to levels statistically indistinguishable from controls (cells cultured on tissue cultured polystyrene, TCP) with cell viability over 96% under all coating conditions. Second, the affect of local vibrations on cell adhesion was tested in vitro. A cell viability assay (Calcein-AM) followed by fluorescent imaging was used to quantify attachment and viability of fibroblasts cultured directly on the bioactive ME material. Results clearly indicated that controlled local vibrations can induce complete cell detachment from the ME material compared with non-vibrated controls at up to 72 hours post-seeding. Further, cells detached via applied vibrations showed no significant decrease in viability compared to adherent controls. These results suggest the potential for this novel coating to effectively control fibrous tissue overgrowth using the mild application of tunable local vibrations, a significant and cost-effective approach that could improve the stability, function, and lifespan of biomedical implants and reduce the need for surgical revision.
Bioactive Magnetoelastic Materials as Coatings for Implantable Biomaterials
Vlaisavljevich, E., Janka, L., Ong, K., and Rajachar, R. (July 9, 2009). "Bioactive Magnetoelastic Materials as Coatings for Implantable Biomaterials." ASME. J. Med. Devices. June 2009; 3(2): 027528. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3147272
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