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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Nanomaterials and synergistic low‐intensity direct current (LIDC) stimulation technology for orthopedic implantable medical devices

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Abstract Nanomaterials play a significant role in biomedical research and applications because of their unique biological, mechanical, and electrical properties. In recent years, they have been utilized to improve the functionality and reliability of a wide range of implantable medical devices ranging from well‐established orthopedic residual hardware devices (e.g., hip implants) that can repair defects in skeletal systems to emerging tissue engineering scaffolds that can repair or replace organ functions. This review summarizes the applications and efficacies of these nanomaterials that include synthetic or naturally occurring metals, polymers, ceramics, and composites in orthopedic implants, the largest market segment of implantable medical devices. The importance of synergistic engineering techniques that can augment or enhance the performance of nanomaterial applications in orthopedic implants is also discussed, the focus being on a low‐intensity direct electric current (LIDC) stimulation technology to promote the long‐term antibacterial efficacy of oligodynamic metal‐based surfaces by ionization, while potentially accelerating tissue growth and osseointegration. While many nanomaterials have clearly demonstrated their ability to provide more effective implantable medical surfaces, further decisive investigations are necessary before they can translate into medically safe and commercially viable clinical applications. The article concludes with a discussion about some of the critical impending issues with the application of nanomaterials‐based technologies in implantable medical devices, and potential directions to address these. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2013, 5:191–204. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1201 This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanotechnology in Tissue Repair and Replacement

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This chart shows the projection of the 2015 US Market (in USD) and examples of implantable medical devices.7 Orthopedic implantable medical devices have the most significant market share (56%). Nanomaterials and synergistic engineering technologies have the potential to impact the unmet needs and shortcomings in this market.

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(a) Concept of the prophylactic technology that uses low‐intensity direct electric current (LIDC) stimulation for the release of oligodynamic metal (e.g., silver) ions. The potential is created through the microbe‐rich environment, and the antimicrobial ions that are released disrupt the bacteria cells. To demonstrate its efficacy, Mueller–Hinton agar plates have been inoculated with MRSA and exposed to (b) silver electrodes, and (c) titanium electrodes, with 20 µA system current. Note the clear zone of inhibition due to the antimicrobial silver ions that were released at the anode in (b). No such zone of inhibition was observed in case of LIDC stimulated titanium in (c).11,118,119

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Transmission electron micrographs of (a) Escherichia coli (J53) and (b) Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25213) exposed to 10 µg/mL of 20 nm washed silver nanoparticles. Bar = 200 nm. Arrows depict agglomerated silver nanoparticles.29

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Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies
Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanotechnology in Tissue Repair and Replacement
Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants

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