Pharmacological doping of implants for the surgical approach
Figure 1: Cell culture of mesenchymal stem cells aligned on the nanotextured pattern of Titanium / Tantalum implants.

Pharmacological doping of implants for the surgical approach of pathologies such as osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent chronic rheumatic disease. It is characterized by progressive degradation of the articular cartilage that leads to joint failure, pain, and great functional dependence. The current outcome of these symptoms is joint replacement surgery, which is the only effective therapy in the advanced stages of the disease. Nonetheless, this comes with great risk. In fact, up to 12% of implants fail due to two major causes: infections at the site of the operation (which can trigger sepsis), and aseptic loosening of the prosthesis. To solve both situations, a new joint replacement surgery would be needed with the associated risk that the operation implies especially in elderly patients.

Our group has developed a research line to prevent and reduce the incidence of these complications, with special emphasis on the prevention of aseptic loosening for which there is currently no treatment The research line has two distinct objectives:

  • to decrease the effects of local inflammation present in both aseptic loosening and infection
  • improving the integration of the implant in the bone which is especially deficient in aseptic loosening.

To this end, our group seek to dope implantable surgical material (prostheses, sutures, etc.) with drugs with anti-inflammatory and /or anabolic properties. Likewise, through different physical science techniques, we try to modify the surface of the implants to improve osteointegration, osteoconduction and osteoinduction of the implants, thus reducing the probability of clinical complications.