Master student

Functionalisation of Ti-6Al-4V Scaffolds with Conductive Hydrogels for Bone Repair


Supervisors: Thomas Distler, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Titanium and its alloys are some of the most attractive metallic biomaterials, widely used for orthopedic applications. In order to improve their performances with respect to osseointegration of implants, the use of biofunctional coatings has been suggested [1]. It has been shown that electrical stimulation improves the cell activity of osteoblasts [2]. Tethering electroconductive hydrogels (ECHs) to titanium materials provides promising properties for application in bone regeneration [3].
ECHs not only exhibit the excellent biocompatibility of hydrogels but also the electric and redox properties of conducting polymers, allowing the potential to tailor the bone-implant interface towards a lower stiffness gradient as well as to introduce electrical functionality to the coating [3, 4]. Therefore, the goal of this Master thesis project is to coat and functionalise Ti-6Al-4V scaffolds with conductive hydrogels. The coating will be investigated regarding its electrical conductivity, wettability, adhesion, mechanical properties, and degradability.

[1] De Giglio E., et al., Electropolymerization of pyrrole on titanium substrates for the future Development of new biocompatible surfaces, Biomaterials 22 (2001) 2609-2616.

[2] Zhu, B., et al., Promotion of the osteogenic activity of an antibacterial polyaniline coating by electrical stimulation, Biomaterial Science, 7 (2019) 4730.

[3] Tan, G., et al., Covalent Bonding of an Electroconductive Hydrogel to Gold-Coated Titanium Surfaces via Thiol-ene Click Chemistry, Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 301 (2016) 1423-1429.

[4] Mawad, D., et al., Conductive Polymer Hydrogels, In: Kalia S. (eds) Polymeric Hydrogels as Smart Biomaterials. Springer Series on Polymer and Composite Materials. Springer, Cham (2016).

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