Scientists working at the University of the West of England have discovered a new way to get to bond with bones. This is significant, they report, because successful implant surgery is dependent on this bonding process. The implant must integrate into the patient’s skeleton. According to a writer for HealthCanal, scientists coat the titanium implants used in surgery with a bioactive lipid called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). The LPA interacts with Vitamin D to enhance bone forming cell functions.
Leading the study is Jason Mansell, M.D., from WE Bristol. He said, “Many implants used in surgery are made out of titanium. These include joint replacements, screws and plates for fixing broken bones and dental implants. Implants work well when the patient’s own bone joins onto the titanium using the body’s own healing processes. When this join forms properly it is extremely strong. However in some cases, around 10%, the patient’s bone fails to join strongly to the titanium and therefore the prosthesis works loose and ultimately fails.