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Nano Science and Technology Institute 2004 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference & Trade Show
Nanotech 2004
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Nanotech 2004 Tutorial

Using Nanotechnology to Design Better Soft and Hard Tissue Implants

Thomas J. Webster

Purdue University

Monday March 8, 4 pm
Duration: 90 minutes

Clinical complications of conventional implants have often resulted from insufficient or improper bonding of the prosthetic device to juxtaposed natural tissue. An approach that appears to offer new promise is the use of biologically-inspired nanophase materials or composites comprised of nanoscale (less than 100 nm) structures. Studies have been carried out during the past several years to investigate the cyto-/bio- compatibility of nanophase materials for potential implant applications. Sharp differences in cell functions have been observed on surfaces with nano- compared to micro-scale features. Such differences may lead to the design of better implants for a wide range of organs including bone, vascular, cartilage, neural, and bladder. Nanophase materials investigated so far include ceramics, metals, polymers, composites, and carbon nanofibers/nanotubes. This tutorial will provide the fundamental information necessary to design surfaces that enhance tissue regeneration and the specific role nanophase materials can play in such an environment. An overview of studies highlighting the nanophase materials in biomaterial applications will also be presented along with some thoughts regarding the future potential of biologically-inspired nanophase materials for various prosthetic applications.

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