The new EIC Pathfinder project wants to develop laser-induced hierarchical micro-/nano-structures for controlled cell adhesion at implants.
The LaserImplant project addresses wide-spread patient’s needs in the fields of dental prostheses and screws and plates for bone regeneration. The research team explains the current challenges as following:
“A large application area of medical implants are currently dental prostheses – a rapidly growing market in ageing societies. These implants consisting of titan (Ti) or Ti-alloy should provide good and fast osseo-integration into the jaw bone. Opposed to that demand, in other applications (for instance for bone screws and plates), the implants may have to be removed after some months or several years and shall, therefore, not be completely overgrown by the bodies’ cells. Hence, a one-step laser-based surface functionalization of implant materials for controlling the cell growth is strongly desired.”
LaserImplant is based on the cooperation between academia, research centres, laser-processing device developers and implant producers from Austria, France and Germany. The coordinating institution is Johannes Kepler University Linz.
In order to bring the new smart medical implants to the market, the project covers also activities oriented on commercialization of laser-functionalized implants, the exploration of industrial up-scaling strategies (including a demonstrator of implant functionalization machines to be conceived and built at the end of the project), and the dissemination and exploitation of the results.
LaserImplant gained support through the EIC Transition to Innovation Activities programme, as a successor of the Pathfinder (FET-Open) LiNaBioFluid project. It starts in January 2021 and will run until the end of the following year.
FET-Open and FET Proactive are now part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot (specifically the Pathfinder), the new home for deep-tech research and innovation in Horizon 2020, the EU funding programme for research and innovation.