July 24, 2024
Biodegradable Implants

Understanding The Potential Of Bioresorbable Implants

Bioresorbable implants are medical devices made from materials that gradually break down and are then absorbed by the body over time. They are designed to provide initial mechanical support where needed and then safely disappear from the body without requiring later surgical removal. This ability to resorb over time addresses many of the drawbacks of permanent metallic implants.

Materials Used for Bioresorbable Implants

Most Bioresorbable Implants currently use polymers derived from lactic acid and glycolic acid. These poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) or PLGA polymers can safely degrade in the body through natural metabolic processes. Other materials being explored include copolymers of polylactic acid, polycaprolactone, and calcium phosphates. The rate of degradation for these materials can be tailored through adjustments to material composition, molecular weight, crystallinity and other factors. This allows implants to be designed to provide structural integrity for periods ranging from weeks to over a year.

Advantages of Bioresorbable Implants

One of the primary benefits of bioresorbable implants is that they eliminate the need for later implant removal surgery. This avoids risks of infection, stress fractures, and foreign body reactions that can sometimes occur with permanent implanted devices. Bioresorbable implants also minimize long-term effects like stress shielding where bone remodeling is altered in response to a stiff metallic implant that remains long after its intended purpose. Without a permanent foreign object remaining, the body is free to fully heal. This advantage is particularly meaningful for pediatric patients who have their entire lives ahead of them after surgeries.

Applications in Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgery has been an area of active exploration for bioresorbable implants. In fractures and bone repair, resorbable plates, screws, pins and rods made of PLGA have successfully secured bone segments during the healing process and then degraded without issue. For cartilage repair, bioresorbable scaffolds aim to regenerate tissue by providing a temporary framework and cues to guide new cell growth as the scaffold breaks down. ACL reconstruction using resorbable interference screws that fix new ligament grafts in the knee tunnel during healing is another application with promise. The screws absorbed gradually leaving nothing permanent behind.

Cardiovascular Applications

Cardiovascular applications are also being studied. Resorbable stents that open clogged arteries like metallic stents but then disappear could eliminate long-term issues of restenosis and late stent thrombosis. Researchers are working to develop stents with appropriate mechanical properties and controllable degradation rates. In addition, resorbable sutures, plugs and patches may have advantages over permanent implants for closing defects, shunts and vascular anastomosis sites. Clinical trials continue to evaluate safety and effectiveness.

Regulatory Considerations

For any new medical device, safety and effectiveness must be rigorously demonstrated before approval and widespread clinical use. For resorbable implants, the body’s reaction to breakdown products is a key consideration during product development and testing. Materials must be shown to degrade into non-toxic components that can be eliminated by normal metabolic pathways without adverse inflammation or tissue response. Regulations also address issues like shelf life, sterilization methods and packaging/labeling. While the FDA approval process for bioresorbable implants parallels that for permanent devices, ongoing surveillance is still important to fully understand long-term performance and biocompatibility over the range of intended uses.

As material science and tissue engineering advance, bioresorbable implants hold great potential to address limitations of permanent metal and plastic implants. Beyond conventional orthopedic and cardiovascular applications, new areas of exploration may include resorbable sutures, anastomotic clips, nerve guides and drug delivery matrices. The ability to restore normal biological function by providing only temporary scaffolding or other mechanical support represents an exciting development. With continuous improvements in material design, further clinical studies and establishment of regulatory guidelines, bioresorbable implants may increasingly become the standard of care for many indications currently addressed by permanent foreign bodies. Their benefits of eliminating late complications while allowing the body to fully heal make them a promising technology.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public Source, Desk Research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it

About Author - Priya Pandey

Priya Pandey is a dynamic and passionate editor with over three years of expertise in content editing and proofreading. Holding a bachelor's degree in biotechnology, Priya has a knack for making the content engaging. Her diverse portfolio includes editing documents across different industries, including food and beverages, information and technology, healthcare, chemical and materials, etc. Priya's meticulous attention to detail and commitment to excellence make her an invaluable asset in the world of content creation and refinement. LinkedIn Profile 

 

About Author - Priya Pandey

Priya Pandey is a dynamic and passionate editor with over three years of expertise in content editing and proofreading. Holding a bachelor's degree in biotechnology, Priya has a knack for making the content engaging. Her diverse portfolio includes editing documents across different industries, including food and beverages, information and technology, healthcare, chemical and materials, etc. Priya's meticulous attention to detail and commitment to excellence make her an invaluable asset in the world of content creation and refinement. LinkedIn Profile¬†  

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