Surgeries in the skeletal system have a significant impact on the health and economy of Brazil and the world. It is commonly necessary to use orthopedic implants for the rehabilitation of patients. Pharmacological and osteoconductive implants are promising alternatives to mitigate the impact of current implant failures due to surgical infections and incomplete osseointegration, resulting in many revision surgeries. For the development of these implants, tissue engineering techniques stand out through the production of scaffolds. Titanium alloys are widely used as structural support due to their excellent mechanical strength. Combining this structure with bioresorbable and osteoconductive materials and drugs can increase the implant osseointegration with the bone and promote local antibacterial activity. Poly (lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) is a bioresorbable polymer widely used for bone applications due to its rapid degradation rate, acting as a matrix for the incorporation of additives with desired properties. Additives that simulate the extracellular bone matrix, such as hydroxyapatite (HA) and collagen, are promising alternatives to promote osteoconduction. Drugs, such as rifampicin (RIF), are widely used in cases of post-surgical infections and can also be incorporated into scaffolds to promote antibacterial activity. Combining these materials with current processing techniques, such as additive manufacturing, for the microstructural control of the implant, and rotary jet spinning, for the production of polymeric fibrous membranes, should be explored. Therefore, this research project aims to produce and characterize structural implants based on titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) combined with fibrous scaffolds of PLGA/HA/RIF and collagen for future bone applications.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: