Interaction of engineered surfaces with the living world: Ion implantation vs. osseointegration
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The reaction of living tissues to foreign materials is a highly complex process that currently is insufficiently understood. Nevertheless, if specific reactions are to be promoted, this understanding is highly valuable and thus a significant research effort is being devoted to this issue. Typically, when a biomaterial is inserted in living tissue, proteins and other bio-molecules will adsorb to the surface. As this protein layer will mediate the interaction of the biomaterial with the living world, the consequent reactions will be highly dependant on this very first stage. Furthermore, different materials, i.e. surfaces, typically elicit a very different tissue response. It is commonly admitted that the primary adsorption depends heavily on the surface chemistry, surface topography and surface physical characteristics. Interactions between surface micro-topography and living cells have been widely studied, but protein specific reactions versus nano-topography have been barely explored. ...