March 4, 2010

1 Min Read
Zirconia/Nanotube–Based Prosthetic Material Could Outlast the Patient



Nere Garmendia

Nere Garmendia, a researcher at Inasmet-Tecnalia (Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain) has published a PhD thesis outlining how a new breed of prosthetic devices can be fashioned from zirconia (Zr02), carbon nanotubes, and zirconia nanoparticles. While current prostheses last from 10 to 15 years, Garmendia's research indicates that the zirconia/nanotube-based device can survive for more than 150 years.Titled "Development of a New Nanocompound Material Made of Zirconia with Coated Carbon Nanotubes for Orthopedic Applications," the dissertation explains that the process of developing zirconia-based prosthetic devices begins by adding carbon nanotubes to the zirconia matrix, a technique that strengthens the ceramic material's resistance. In order to improve the transfer and distribution of loads, the connection between the zirconia matrix and the nanotubes must be reinforced by coating the nanotubes with zirconia nanoparticles that have been heated beyond their boiling point through a process known as hydrothermal synthesis. This coating functions as a bridge between the zirconia matrix and the nanotubes.Working at the nanometric scale is the key to achieving long-lasting prostheses, Garmendia asserts. In contrast to a previous experiment using micrometric zirconia demonstrating that this material would undergo considerably aging after being in the body for 12 years, Garmendia's thesis shows that the addition of zirconia-coated carbon nanotubes to the zirconia matrix extends the material's longevity considerably.For more information about this research, see the article "Material Tested that Could Guarantee Body Protheses for More than 150 Years" published by Basque Research.

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