Properties of nanoceramics developed at TSU are being studied by geophysics at the University of Crete (Greece), considered one of the leading European biomedical technologies. Material created by the team of scientists of Tomsk State University and the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, led by Sergei Kulkov, Professor of Faculty of Physics and Engineering, was found to have a number of unique properties--in particular, the nanoceramics were not only accepted by the body as native, but actually began to act itself as a natural bone.
The developers have used oxides of zirconium, aluminum and their mixtures in the manufacture of the material. These are safe for the body and included in the international register ISO. The spectrum of application of nanoceramics is very wide. Scientists have made from it the small joints of the limbs and the spinal cages. Samples were sent to the Greek researchers who conducted hundreds of experiments in order to identify the features of the interaction of foreign material with human cells. For this biophysicists applied cells to samples and analyzed their behavior.
- We need to get objective data and to collect health statistics, so we repeat our experiments many times - says Maria Chatzinikolaou, Professor at the University of Crete (Greece) - I want to note that the ceramics created under the lead of Professor Sergei Kulkov at TSU - it is quite a unique case. In the world there are many developments in medical supplies, but none of them has the properties that the nanoceramics from Tomsk do.
For prosthetic joints or vertebral bone replacement the main problem is not only the complexity of the operation, but also a high probability of rejection of the implant. Researchers of TSU and ISPMS SB RAS managed to trick the body to take a foreign material as its own. Moreover, changes in the individual characteristics of the ceramic lead to the appearance of new material properties. So in the case of creating a particular porosis, the material provokes cells to show biological activity - they secrete a calcium phosphate compound on the surface of the pores and the ceramic behaves like natural bone.
- We had a great series of experiments in vitro, and now ready to begin research in vivo, - says Maria Chatzinikolaou. - Experiments will be carried out on rodents.
- In the near future, researchers at the University of Essen (Germany) will join to our project - says Professor Sergei Kulkov. - We plan to vary the physical and biological properties of our ceramics by coating the inner surface with nanoparticles of different materials. We were doing this before, but the creation of a consortium with the University of Crete and Essen will attract many good experts on the subject and their technical capabilities.