'Iron' Polymer: Russian Ultra-high-molecular-weight Polyethylene Implant has Successfully Replaced Bone Tissue

Friday, March 31, 2017 Genetics & Stem Cells News
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MOSCOW, March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

Agroup ofRussian scientists have successfully tested

the implants ofchancellor bones based onultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE): 100% ofimplanted samples have been successfully grafted.

(Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/484499/NUST_MISIS_Science_Team.jpg

) (Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/484500/Structure_of_Implants.jpg ) (Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/484497/Composite_Structure_of_UHMWPE.jpg ) (Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/484498/Implants_Composite_Structure.jpg ) (Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/484501/NUST_MISIS_Logo.jpg )

Aspreviously reported, NUST MISIS scientists, with the help ofcolleagues from the Russian Cancer Center, named after N.N. Blokhin, aswell asthe State Plant for Medical Preparations, learned how tocreate highly precise simulations ofbone tissue structures, which presented the opportunity toprovide areplacement for bone loss, and toinitiate the regeneration process while maintaining the functional capabilities oflimbs. Anarticle with the research results was published inthe "Materials Science and Engineering" journal.

"The research group was able toexamine the structural and mechanical characteristics ofthe obtained samples both in-vitro and in-vivo during the experiment. The breakthrough fundamental research ofNUST MISIS scientists has received practical development thanks tothe close cooperation ofour University, Russia's leading Cancer Center and the State Plant for Medical Preparations. Particularly, the results ofthe in-vivo experiments allowed the team todetermine the degree ofthe inner layer's porosity and pore sizes, inwhich astrong fixation inbone loss bythe ingrowth ofconnective tissue into the implant takes place", commentedAlevtina Chernikova, Rector ofNUST MISIS.

The partial replacement ofbones, destroyed bycancer, injury, orsurgery, remains animportant medical problem. InRussia alone over 70,000 surgeries torestore the integrity ofdamaged bone tissue occur annually. There are hundreds ofthousands ofsuch operations throughout the world.

Bone tissue possesses anatural ability toregenerate, but incase oflarge defects the natural ability isoften insufficient for complete bone repair. That's why torepair damaged bone tissue various types ofimplants are used. Materials used for bone implants must have anumber ofspecific properties: tobebiologically compatible with the host's body, topossess high mechanical properties, toensure the complete replacement ofthe bone loss, and toinitiate the processes ofbone tissue regeneration.

The ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene isvery well suitable for the criteria described above. For example, ifwetalk about mechanical properties interms ofstrength orself-weight, the products from UHMWPE have measurements that exceed steel. That's why potentially the material suits well for the manufacture ofporous implants which have the structure toinitiate the porous chancellors bone tissue processes most accurately. However, the extremely high molecular weight ofpolymer doesn't allow for the use oftraditional methods ofcreating aporous structure (typically they are created byfoaming).

The problem was solved with the help ofasolid-phase mixing method, thermopressure, and rinsing the materials insubcritical water.With such ingenuity, agroup ofRussian scientists solved the problem ofsimulating the complex structure ofchancellor bones for the first time inthe world, and created the multi-layer UHMWPE scaffolds with asolid exterior and porous inner layer.

"Our scaffold consists oftwo layers, which are connected toeach other very firmly. The first layer issolid- itstimulates the cortical bone toensure the mechanical strength. The inner layer has pores ofacertain size, that's why itcan becolonized bycells from the recipient toaccelerate the fusion with surrounding tissues and toprovide astrong fixation ofthe implant inthe defective area", saidFedor Senatov, Candidate ofEngineering Sciences, head ofthe project, and research assistant atthe NUST MISIS Center ofComposite Materials.

According tothe experimentation team, the listed features ofscaffolds obtained onthe basis ofUHMWPE will open great prospects for the creation ofbioimplants inrehabilitation medicine, afact already proved byscientists inanew series ofexperiments.


The National University of Science and Technology MISIS is one of Russia's most dynamically developing centers for research and education. Being among the leaders of technology education in Russia, NUST MISIS is also a large research center. In 2015 NUST MISIS entered The Times Higher Education World University Rankings and strengthened its position in the QS World University Rankings. In 2016, NUST MISIS wasthe only Russian university to enter the Times Higher Education: World's Best Small Universities Ranking, and also continued to climb in the QS regional rankings.

The strategic goal of NUST MISIS is to become a global leader in the fields of materials science, metallurgy, and mining, as well as to strengthen its position in the fields of biomaterials and nano- and IT technologies by 2020. The University comprises 9 institutes and 4 branches - three in Russia and one abroad. More than 15,000 students are being trained at NUST MISIS. 27 laboratories and 3 world-class engineering centers, where leading international scientists work, operate at NUST MISIS. The University successfully implements joint projects with both well-known Russian and international high-tech companies.


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