Lubricated Tissue-on-Ceramic Articulations as Improved Prosthetic Joint Implants

 

We are engaged in the testing of improved Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) implants as a needed first example of articulating prosthetics that minimize friction and wear while maintaining long-term function. The materials of construction rely on modern dental ceramics currently used for force-bearing crowns, covered by fixed (collagenous) pericardial tissues as used in surgical grafting, and periodically lubricated with a proprietary formula utilizing Nature’s lubricant, hyaluronan (HA). Accelerated testing so far has yielded an inter-lubrication period recommendation of the order of six months, during which no tissue wear occurred under a repetitive 90N impact-and-sliding articulation while maintaining smooth function. A failure of bonding of the tissue to ceramic after 2-months of equivalent service in one case illustrated the utilization of a biological adhesive (BioGlue™) might not be adequate, as further illustrated by its uniform shear failure stress of 20-30 psi from living and fixed alternative tissues of blood vessels and ureters. Dental adhesives, demonstrably capable of long-term bonding to collagenous dentin, are being investigated to secure the required bioadhesion longevity.* *As seen at the 8th Annual New York State Biotechnology Symposium

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