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Nanocolumns of Titanium and Tellurium to Avoid Infections in Medical Implants

The nanostructured titanium support decreases the number of bacteria adhered to the bone implants, while the tellurium gives them bactericidal properties.

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The nanostructured titanium support decreases the number of bacteria adhered to the bone implants, while the tellurium gives them bactericidal properties.

It is a risk that goes unnoticed at first sight but that is increasingly relevant. We are talking about the infections in the bone implants that are produced, experts say, because of the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. A problem that is difficult to solve with the traditional means available to medicine, but for which nanotechnology may have the answer.

Or at least that creates a group of scientists led by the CSIC. In a recent work, these scientists have shown how the combination of titanium nanocolumns and tellurium nanoparticles allows to achieve coatings with excellent antibacterial properties.

“The coatings consist of a titanium nanocolumn support, like a tapestry, to which tellurium nanoparticles are added. The nanostructured titanium support manages to reduce the number of bacteria adhered to the surface, while tellurium also gives it bactericidal properties, both for Gram-positive bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus) and for Gram-negative bacteria (such as Escherichia coli),” explains Study leader, José Miguel Garcia-Martin, researcher at the Institute of Micro and Nanotechnology (IMN) of the CSIC.

The results, published in the Nanomedicine Journal: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, could be applied to improve the duration of bone implants. “The supports with titanium nanocolumns have been manufactured in Spain, not only in the IMN but also in the company Nano4Energy, to demonstrate the industrial viability of the method, and the tellurium nanoparticles have been prepared in the United States, where they were also taken carried out the in vitro tests “, explains the researcher.

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