NUST MISIS Scientists Develop New Technology to Produce Bioactive Coating With Antibacterial Effect

A group of NUST MISIS scientists developed an innovative technology for producing a bioactive coating with an antibacterial effect. This technology will be used in medicine and allows scientists to cover implants with coating that protects human body from inflammation, helps to avoid implant rejection and reduces the postoperative period.

Occurrence of inflammatory responses is one of the main problems that hinder fast implant integration into living tissue. A highly adhesive biofilm forms on the surface of the implant as a result of bacteria and fungi colonization. This biofilm is not easy to remove by traditional drug therapy. Covering implants with the antibacterial coating developed by NUST MISIS scientists is an effective way of solving this problem.

The new technology is an innovative method for surface treatment of metals and their alloys. Its secret lies in electrical discharge machining, i.e. the surface of an implant is treated with an electrode material of unique composition. This material contains biocompatible metal and bioactive and antibacterial supplements in the required proportion. Therefore, the implant is covered with a coating that includes elements that destroy bacteria while preserving bioactive and biocompatible properties of the surface.

“This coating is the third, improved generation of bioactive coatings. It contains elements that kill harmful bacteria. The implant coating protects the body from inflammation, helps to avoid implant failures and therefore contributes to reduction of the postoperative period”, said Professor Evgeny Levashov, Head of the Department of Powder Metallurgy and Functional Coatings at NUST MISIS, Director of the Scientific-Educational Center of SHS (Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis).

The newly developed technology will be used to treat implants made from various alloys that are accepted for medical use. For instance, it can be used to produce titanium implants that are designed to replace damaged areas of bone tissue. These are orthopedic and dental implants, implants for oral, maxillofacial or spinal surgery, artificial joints, clamps, etc. In general, these are the implants that are subject to high mechanical loads.

“NUST MISIS research group, led by Professor Evgeny Levashov, developed bioactive coating with antibacterial effect which has received the most prestigious awards of various international exhibitions of inventions. In 2015, for the development of this innovative technology, Professor Levashov was titled “The best inventor of Moscow”, and in 2016 the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) included the development in the list of “100 best inventions of Russia”, said Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS.

According to Professor Levashov, the new antibacterial coating is not only on equal footing with its analogs around the world, but even surpasses them in some ways. The scientists have been developing this new technology for three years and still continue to work on it. However, they have patented their technology both in Russia and in the international system PTC (the Patent Cooperation Treaty). Currently, the new technology is required to undergo clinical trials, a process that directly depends on funding.