Functional Surfaces for Implants

In this module we develop novel functional surfaces for medical applications. The clinical needs of relevant materials are manifold: osseointegration of metals and ceramics, integration – or in some cases non-integration – of polymers or hydrogels into soft tissue, blood compatibility of various materials. Coatings with active ingredients provide surfaces that can trigger a specific cell and tissue response, for example for novel wound healing materials. Antimicrobial surfaces help to prevent or reduce bacterial infections of materials implanted into or in contact with the human body.

We employ different coating techniques, plasma processing as well as physical and (bio-)chemical modifications for developing a specific surface functionality for different substrates. Utilizing physical analytics, analytical and computational chemistry as well as biochemical methods, we aim for a detailed understanding of the surface characteristics. In vitro studies facilitate a detailed understanding of mechanisms, with which bacteria and cells interact with surfaces. The clinical relevance of novel functional surfaces is assessed using advanced in vitro models and in collaboration with our clinical partners.