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Biomaterials. 2013 Apr;34(13):3174-83. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.01.074. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

The future of biologic coatings for orthopaedic implants.

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1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. goodbone@stanford.edu

Abstract

Implants are widely used for orthopaedic applications such as fixing fractures, repairing non-unions, obtaining a joint arthrodesis, total joint arthroplasty, spinal reconstruction, and soft tissue anchorage. Previously, orthopaedic implants were designed simply as mechanical devices; the biological aspects of the implant were a byproduct of stable internal/external fixation of the device to the surrounding bone or soft tissue. More recently, biologic coatings have been incorporated into orthopaedic implants in order to modulate the surrounding biological environment. This opinion article reviews current and potential future use of biologic coatings for orthopaedic implants to facilitate osseointegration and mitigate possible adverse tissue responses including the foreign body reaction and implant infection. While many of these coatings are still in the preclinical testing stage, bioengineers, material scientists and surgeons continue to explore surface coatings as a means of improving clinical outcome of patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery.

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