More durable and antibacterial bone implants

(13-10-2021) In her PhD, Monica Thukkaram is investigating both how bone implants can become more durable and how they can lead to fewer infections.

"One of the main causes of bone implant failure is implant-related infections," Monica explains, "The interface between the bone and the implant is the crucial site for the occurrence of infections as both microorganisms and cells compete to occupy the newly introduced surface of the implant."

Most research surrounding the problem of infections focuses on designing implant coatings that can prevent infections. In addition to these surface aspects, an implant must also possess the proper mechanical properties to achieve higher efficiency and longevity under more stressful conditions.

Therefore, an ideal implant should be bi-functional, as the implant should possess both antibacterial and osteo-conductive properties (= Properties of bone building materials that support the natural process of new bone formation), accompanied by improved hardness and durability.

"In my doctoral thesis, I designed and tested new microporous and nanoporous composite coatings, which possess the ideal topographic and chemical surface signals to activate the bi-functional nature of bone implants," Monica concludes.

Read the entire PhD

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PhD Title: Plasma-Assisted Fabrication of Microporous and Nanoporous Composite Coatings on Titanium Implants for Orthopedic Applications

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ContactMonica Thukkaram, Nathalie De Geyter (promotor), Lieven De Wilde (promotor), Kim Verbeken (promotor)

Monica Thukkaram

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Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke