Reducing the likelihood of implant rejection and infection
Hundreds of thousands of Australians receive medical implants like bone replacements, catheters and pacemakers every year. The human body is a complex system so there is a lot to consider when implanting artificial parts. Reducing the likelihood of infection and ensuring the body doesn't reject implants present ongoing medical challenges.
A prebiotic solution, billions of years in the making
The prebiotic compounds found in 'goo', which are believed to have been the source of all life evolving on Earth, can be traced back billions of years and have been studied intensively since their discovery several decades ago.
Our scientists wanted to see if they could apply the chemistry of this 'goo' in a practical way, and for the first time uncovered a method for using prehistoric molecules to assist with medical treatments.
The team developed a bio-friendly coating that allows cells to readily grow and colonise.
Better coatings for implants
The coating process developed by the scientists is very simple and uses methods and substances that are readily available, meaning biomedical manufacturers can produce improved results more cost effectively compared to existing coatings.
The non-toxic coating is adhesive and will coat almost any material making its potential biomedical applications broad. It can be applied to medical devices to improve their performance and acceptance by the body, and can assist with a range of medical procedures.
CSIRO is the first organisation to investigate practical applications of this kind using prebiotic chemistry. The research opens the door to a host of new biomedical possibilities that are still yet to be explored.
CSIRO is seeking to partner with biomedical manufacturers to exploit this technology.
You can read more about this in the Nature journal, Asia Materials, available at Prebiotic-chemistry inspired polymer coatings for biomedical and material science applications.