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Researchers at IIT Roorkee develop orthopedic implant that fights infection


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 16th, 2018

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee have developed an orthopedic implant that releases drugs to prevent infection.

Although orthopedic implants used in joint replacement are biologically compatible, the metallic implants can lead to complications such as bacterial infection that sometimes requires costly additional surgery. The ITT researchers designed their implant to prevent infection while promoting integration for a safer, more sustainable alternative to current technologies.

“Researchers usually focus on designing of ceramic coatings on metal implants to improve the osseo-integration and stability of the implant, while ignoring microbial susceptibility, or vice versa,” says Debrupa Lahiri of the research team. “However, both osseo-integration and antibacterial functionalities are required for implant coating to attain long-term success. This is lacking in the existing implants and leads to a failure rate of about 10%.”

Patients who undergo bone or joint replacement are administered antibiotics orally or intravenously to prevent infections, but the method is not effective in target-specific drug delivery and increases risk of toxicity. The new implant from ITT features a coating loaded with antibiotics that is released directly and sustainedly onto the target area.

“This would increase the success rate of implants substantially,” Lahiri says. “When used to replace a damaged bone permanently, it provides immediate relief from pain and helps the patient rejoin active life quickly.”

Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), a public sector company promoted by the university’s Department of Biotechnology, is helping the researchers commercialize their device. According to Lahiri, a number of companies have shown interest and have communicated with BCIL about taking the implant to market.

Source: PharmaBiz

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