Today, deterioration of human health is one of the most pressing problems that modern medicine is facing. First of all, it concerns the widespread degradation of hard tissues - bones and teeth. To solve this problem, it is necessary to create medical materials capable of restoring the structure of hard tissues. The chemical basis of such materials is provided by hydroxyapatite, an inorganic compound, which is one of the main components of bones and teeth.
A team of Lobachevsky University chemists headed by Professor Alexander Knyazev has developed a new one-stage technology for producing artificial nano-hydroxyapatite, which is used for making implants, restoring tooth enamel and skin defects.
Key advantages of the new technology include:
- increased biocompatibility with human cells as compared with existing materials;
- the possibility of chemical modification for controlling biological and mechanical properties;
- the possibility of creating various materials (from nanopowders to ceramics with various porosity).
To produce such ceramic materials, a unique method of spark plasma sintering is also used.
A new line of research is to create hydroxyapatite-based materials that combine antimicrobial properties and biological compatibility with human cells. It is achieved by chemical modification of the compound. The research is carried out in cooperation with the Volga Federal Medical Research Center of Russia's Health Ministry.
The main application areas for the results of this work are: orthopedics and traumatology (bone implants); pharmaceutical industry (biologically active food additives as a source of calcium); aesthetic medicine (fillers for smoothing mimic wrinkles); coatings for medical devices and instruments.
Studies in this area conducted by Alexander Knyazev, Evgeny Bulanov and their colleagues have been supported by research grants.