Thursday, August 28, 2014

India - Metal implants set to get rust-resistant - Corrosion control technology for implants developed by Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), Gujarat

AHMEDABAD: Metal plates and rods for internal fixation of fractures are being used for more than a century now, but corrosion remains a persistent challenge in orthopedics. From cancer to immune dysfunction, rusting of metal implants pose risk of life-threatening health conditions.

In such a scenario, Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) has developed a mechanism to render orthopedic implants rust-resistant. EDI has secured patent for the invention that promises to be a revolution in the healthcare sector.

Implant plates are made rustproof by chemicals, fixtures, electric current and voltage. The process has been invented by technocrats and scientists led by senior faculty K K Shaw of EDI's International Centre for Cluster Competitiveness, Growth and Technology. Senior orthopedic surgeon and joint replacement specialist Dr H P Bhalodiya says, "In India, we generally don't use pure titanium or stainless steel implants as they are overpriced. Since Indian doctors use half-price plates that are a mixture of various metals they corrode after coming in contact with internal environment. In most cases, rusting starts in less than one year."

"Rusting roughens metal surfaces and releases ions from the metal or alloy. This leads to toxic reactions and serious allergies. Studies show metal can cause the entire immune system to be suppressed. At times, small flakes of metals enter the bloodstream and soft tissues causing damage to DNA and increasing the risk of cancer," Dr Bhalodiya added.

Shaw says corrosion transmits contamination like iron particles, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide and various wax compositions on the surface generated by machining which is harmful to orthopedic implants.

"This invention eliminates the contamination of implants. The process is basically an electrolytic dissolution of metal chips and fine particles by applying direct current," he adds.

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Publication Date: 28 August 2014

1 comment:

  1. It is healthy news for the implant users in India. Our congratulations to the research team in EDI who brought this innovation to the market. Corrosion of implants is one of the areas like water contamination that directly affects the public. They do not know how to select the proper materials suitable for the body conditions. The judgment is merely made on the cost basis provided by medical houses. When a compromise is made on cost, the users with corrosive implants are exposed to many after effect health impacts. Corrosivity of implants is influenced by the composition of body fluid and the practices the implant users follow for their routine activities. It is highly impractical to simulate the exact composition of body fluid in the laboratory to test various material choices for implants. Selection is made on trial and error basis. This leads to many uncertainties when the failures are reported by the end-users. Implant manufacturers and medical houses have to closely interact with the users to create awareness for corrosion of implants and execute evidence based research to enhance the quality of materials. When maintenance of any material after corrosion is impossible like the one for implants, it should be a lifetime corrosion resistant material selected for the intended purpose. Manufacturers should provide corrosion control warranty for these products. Our government system has to encourage the implementation of corrosion control for such critical areas through providing incentives for research, encouraging indigenous efforts or minimizing duty on imported technologies and components. Present research status on this public issue in India is not showing an encouraging sign to the end-users. We need to bridge the experience of overseas Indians in this domain with the talent and research system in India. We CAN Control Corrosion in India


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