According to available data, the Indian orthopedic devices market is around Rs 2,400 crores and is expected to grow at around 20 % every year. And in the world, India is one of the top 20 medical device marked and fourth largest marked in Asia. Changes in the market composition, policy and regulatory environments will alter the landscape further in the near future. However, from medical point of view, orthopedic implants do not completely allow patients lead their normal life and their average lifetime is also only 10-15 years. Implant failure can be due to many reasons like in-appropriate mechanical strength between bone and implant, biocompatibility issue, infection and corrosion, to name few. Failed implants require revision surgeries, which is again associated with cost, additional pain and recovery. Bacterial infection associated with implants has become a growing threat to human health. It is rather a challenging task to treat an infection of orthopaedic implant. It may cause various complications like prolonged morbidity, extended rehabilitation, repeated debridement and surgery. Researchers have studied that surface functionalized orthopedic implants can rectify these problems. The coating industry is again bound to increase with rise in medical devices market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3 % between 2014-19.
Among various materials that can be used for functionalization of implant surface, nano-dimension materials are attracting the attention of scientific community as well as implant coating manufacturers due to their size resemblance with natural tissues, bones, related proteins, etc. The physiochemical properties of nanomaterials play important role in cell growth stimulation and tissue regeneration due to their high surface roughness and high surface area. Many studies have shown the mimicking ability of nano rough surfaces for natural tissue processes, and they showed better tissue growth compared to flat or nano-smooth implants.
Our research group at Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIR-CSIO), Chandigarh, India, is working on synthesis of nanoceramic biomaterials like hydroxyapatite and its conjugate with biocompatible metal nanoparticles like silver nanoparticles, zinc oxide nanoparticles etc. Diverse structured like nanospheres, nanoslabs, etc nano-hydroxyapatite is fabricated using different synthetic methods. Hydroxyapatite is a well-known bone like material. The natural bone is a nanostructured composite consisting of organic and inorganic phases. The organic phase is mainly composed of collagen, arranged into nanofibers of size ranging in 50 – 500 nm. The in-organic phase consists of nanometer-sized carbonated hydroxyapatite, embedded between nanofibers. Hydroxyapatite has mechanical strength and morphology identical to natural bone and its composite with silver nanoparticles provide resistance again bacterial colonization. We are also working on coating of these biomaterials on implant material surface and are studying the effect of these coating on bacterial resistance and corrosion resistance.
At present, functionalized/coated implants are either being imported or implants are sent to foreign manufacturers for coating, which make them unreachable for most of the middle class strata. Indian orthopedic manufacturers face the constraint of support infrastructure such as common testing laboratories and coating facilities which can help them to improve validation of their products and bring down costs. Lack of such facilities makes them uncompetitive as they have to access international service providers for such needs. However, the policies being undertaken by present government in terms of regulatory and domestic innovations, under the umbrella of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Saksham Bharat’, campaign is expected to support the Indian orthopedic manufacturers.
About the author:
Dr. Suman Singh is a Senior Scientist at CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIR-CSIO), Chandigarh, India. She has obtained her Graduations and Masters degree from Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan and her Ph.D degree in Science from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Her area of research is designing of composites consisting of functional bulk and nanomaterials. These composites are studied for their biomedical applications as anti-corrosive and anti-bacterial coatings on orthopaedic materials. She is also working on diagnosis of disease biomarkers and sensing of water pollutants using optical and electroactive proves. She has international collaborations with institutes from Germany, Australia, Korea and UK. She has trained many students as summer trainees, project trainees, master’s project trainees and is guiding many PhD students. Her work is published in international journals and has many book chapters and books in her credit. She is Review Editor for Inorganic Chemistry & Analytical chemistry in Frontiers in Chemistry and is a reviewer for reputed journals like Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Sensors, Talanta, BioNanoscience, Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, Spectrochimica Acta, International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, RSC Advances, etc. She is life member of Semiconductor Society (India), and member of International Association of Advanced Materials