Magnesium-Based Facial Implants
18 May 2022
PhD candidate Aditya Joshi advances research into magnesium-based facial implants
The UC Mechanical Engineering Department is pleased to present this news article on the recent developments into magnesium-based facial implants that are being developed by PhD candidate Aditya Joshi.
Aditya’s work delves into implants which will be used primarily in facial reconstruction surgeries. Previous research has indicated that there is a large portion (10 to 15 percent) of patients who undergo facial reconstruction surgery that require further surgery in the future. To help mitigate this surgical recrudescence, Aditya and his fellow researchers have been looking into materials that are more suitable for these invasive surgeries.
The implants they are making contain magnesium, zinc, and calcium which mimic natural elements that exist in bone. These implant properties can ultimately help with bone healing while also having the advantage of dissolving and being absorbed by the body within 6 months to a year after the fracture has healed. This can limit the need for a second surgery.
Previous research into using magnesium-based implants have been met with challenges associated with their application and lifecycle in the body. Aditya had this to say, “The issue relating to magnesium implants in most cases is that they often corrode too fast before the fracture has healed. So, tailoring the corrosion properties to what we need was the major part of this project.”
A further advantage these magnesium implants have over conventionally used mechanisms is their mechanical properties. As they are exceedingly similar to bone, they possess the appropriate stress load to encourage bone development. Whereas traditionally used titanium implants have a propensity to take on too much load which can lead to a reduction of bone mass.
Given the sensitive nature of this research and its potential use in human applications, Aditya and the team have been working collaboratively with maxillofacial surgeons at the University of Otago while also working with veterinary professionals relating to animal trials in Palmerston North. The implants that have been utilized in animal trials are currently undergoing analysis and so far, have demonstrated promising results. Aditya is optimistic about the future of this project and the eventual start of pre-clinical trials with humans.
The work Aditya and his fellow researchers are doing is amazing to say the least and we are thrilled to hear about the further progress of this project in the near future.
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