MSE 2016 - Full Program

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Material Characterization and In Vitro Cell Studies on Keratin Coatings for Titanium Prosthesis

Tuesday (27.09.2016)
15:45 - 16:00
Part of:

Amputations are performed to help salvage the remainder of a limb after a serious accident or disease. An increase in amputations have been seen due to wartime injuries and complications of vascular disease. Conventionally, a socket interface is used for prosthetic limbs but an alternative, percutaneous osseointegrated prosthetics (POP) or implants that are inserted into the bone and under the skin, have emerged. Although POPs provide better mechanical stability and quality of life compared to the traditional socket technology, they still suffer from infection and excess skin down-growth. Improving the skin-implant interface can not only advance the POP technology but all percutaneous devices. A commonly used material for bone implanted leg prosthetics is titanium due to its high biocompatibility. Modifications have been made in previous studies to aid in reducing infections and skin down-growth by depositing various coatings or changing the implant’s porosity. A material that has yet to be used for coatings is keratin. Keratin is categorized as an intermediate filament and can be found in human hair, skin, and nails. Keratin is highly biocompatible, naturally derived, and has been seen to aid in wound healing and peripheral nerve damage. We plan to investigate keratin coatings on substrates to demonstrate strong cellular adhesion. However, keratin must first be optimized on titanium substrates to verify protein attachment. Characterization of the coatings has been analyzed to verify that keratin has been deposited, ensure a uniform coating, and observe its surface topography. In addition, cell adhesion studies will provide an in vitro demonstration of skin cells’ biological and mechanical interaction with keratin coatings.

Alexis Trent
Virginia Tech