The research field of the applied Laura Bassi Centre of Expertise for Diamond and Carbon Materials in Life Science (LBC) (DiaLife) focuses on carbon based nano-engineering of interfaces of medical implants, devices or biomaterials the latter representing indispensable future key-players in health care and disability treatment. Emphasise of the LBC will be put on the optimisation of medical implant surfaces with functionalised nano crystalline diamond (NCD) or nano diamond particle (DP) coatings, the improvement of the interaction of the implant surface with the soft tissue at transdermal/transmucosal implants, with bone at endossous implants and the functionalisation of biomaterials like bone substitutes with NCD/DP and osteo- and angiopromotive proteins subsequently. Even though the insertion and osseointegration of medical implants has been well integrated into clinical treatment modalities several obstacles have to be overcome. For instance the success rate of implants inserted in osteoporotic bone is diminished. Transcutaneous/-mucosal implants are exposed to biofilm formation and consecutive bacterial invasion possibly resulting in periimplantary infection. Thus great effort is undertaken to further sophistically refine implant surfaces to fulfil the specific demands, which can be achieved by tailored NCD coated surfaces preserving their favourable inherent micro-architecture and at the same time combining them with a nano-structured, locally hydrophilic or hydrophobic surface resulting in e.g. antibacterial characteristics. Theoretical modelling and simulations will accompany and support the whole process of development since these techniques are necessary to gain a thorough understanding during the design of interface materials (i.e. the prediction of experimental parameters) and in the interpretation of experimental results. Established experimental animal model systems for fracture and bone defect healing will be employed to validate the novel sensing technology with and without pharmacological as well as biomaterial caused interventions. Because the application of this technology will allow continuous monitoring, the direct benefit is a reduction of animal experimentation while gaining a wealth of information. Only with this genuine technology, it will be possible to sufficiently select and specify distinct diamond implant coatings with respect to composition and/or surface properties. The results of DiaLife will reach a broad commercial range of applications in medical implantology or any kind of biocompatible biomaterial as a basic bio-interface for further refinement. The well-balanced relation between industry and science, collaborating with modern project management tools, allows innovative and pioneering approaches and consequently industrial utilisation and exploitation resulting in innovative, new products. Therefore the research activities in this topic are of high relevance in the socio-economical, scientific and technological aspects.
|Effective start/end date||1/12/09 → 30/11/13|
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