Nanotechnology could yield better dental implants

An international team of scientists led by the University of Montreal has discovered a process to produce new metal surfaces that promise to lead to superior medical and dental implants that could improve healing and allow the human body to better accept metal prostheses.

According to new research published in Nano Letters, the scientists capitalized on recent advances in nanotechnology to change how metals can influence cell growth and development in the body. A critical aspect of the finding is that the surfaces can directly stimulate cells -- thereby eliminating the need for pharmaceuticals and resulting side effects.

"Using chemical modification, we have produced metals with intelligent surfaces that positively interact with cells and help control the biological healing response," stated Antonio Nanci, senior author and a professor at the University of Montreal Faculty of Dentistry, in a press release. "These will be the building blocks of new and improved metal implants that are expected to significantly affect the success of orthopedic, dental, and cardiovascular prostheses."

The study is a collaboration between the University of Montreal, McGill University, the National Institute of Scientific Research, Plasmionique, and the University of São Paulo.

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