Applications

Molecular Surface Technologies provides material modification solutions for both medical and non-medical applications.

Our three focus areas for functionalized surfaces include:

Antimicrobial Surfaces

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Lubricious Surfaces

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Biogenic Surfaces

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Antimicrobial Surfaces

Postoperative implant infections continue to be an enormous clinical problem and financial burden for hospitals and the healthcare system. These types of infections are primarily due to surface inoculation of bacteria at the time of surgery.  Prophylactic antibiotics are usually given prior to surgery to decrease the incidence of infection, but work only in the perioperative period.  Deep orthopedic implant infections continue to occur at a rate of 1-3% for joint reconstructions and 3-20% for spinal implants despite prophylactic intravenous antibiotics. Local wound antibiotics have become more common and are moderately effective, but still have significant failure rates and may lead to bacterial drug resistance. Urinary and intravenous catheters have similar infection rates requiring multiple device changes and replacements.  In total, hospital-acquired iatrogenic infections represent a cost of over $10 billion per year (Figure 1).  Some solutions, such as coated cardiovascular stents, rely on the elution of antibiotics from the device to be effective, but these may lead to systemic or local toxicity and antibiotic drug resistance.

As implant infections are a surface phenomenon, they require a solution focused at the surface. Molecular Surface Technologies specializes in treating surfaces with covalently bound molecules that do not result in regional dilution, systemic/local toxicity, or antibiotic drug resistance.  MST’s surface treatments also do not require separate surgical intervention or therapy for the prevention of infection, which reduces overall healthcare costs.

MST has developed multiple surface modifications utilizing different functional molecules and attachment strategies to create highly potent and efficacious antimicrobial surfaces. Our most used functional molecule is currently a proprietary form of modified quaternized chitosan.

This surface treatment provides rapid killing of many types of bacteria as evidenced by the chart in Figure 2. Killing of bacteria are typically referred to by a logarithmic reduction in viable organisms.  Simply put, this means that 1 log of killing means 90% of bacteria was eradicated, 2 logs of killing means 99% was eradicated, 3 logs of killing means 99.9% was eradicated, and so on.  The chart in Figure 2 shows that our surface can kill more than 99.999% of Methicillin-sensitive Staphyloccus aureus (MSSA), more than 99.99% of Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA), and more than 99.9% of Staphylococcus epidermidis (just to name a few) after only one hour of incubation.

It is potent yet nontoxic to mammalian cells. The growth tests outline in Figure 3 demonstrate that the covalent treatment is not toxic to a type of mouse bone cell line (postosteoblast/preosteocyte) and provides a surface very amenable to cell growth and proliferation.

Furthermore, several ISO 10993 tests also show that it is exceptionally non-toxic, both locally to cells and systemically in the body (Figure 4).

Antimicrobial Surfaces
Lubricious Surfaces

Lubricious Surfaces

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Biogenic Surfaces

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on improving tissue fixation to medical implants through different coatings and porous materials with limited results.  In orthopaedic surgery, growth and proliferation of bone to long term structural implants would be game changing.  To date, bone fixation relies on the mechanical interdigitation by bone growth adjacent to and within the geometry of the implant surface.  MST has patent pending technology allowing for the stimulation, amplification and proliferation of bone growth directly on the implant surface.  We believe that similar results will also hold true for soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and muscle.

Clinically, metal or polymeric implants are relatively inert passive devices to play no active role in bone or soft tissue healing.  Even “bone friendly” materials do not result in bone or tissue growth directly to the surface of the material.  Current implants, in fact, are sometimes deleterious to healing resulting in relatively avascular fibrous encapsulation.  Many implants occupy a large volume of space in areas where bone fusion should take place, thus preventing solid bony continuity.

The MST Bioactivity Technology can revolutionize many different segments of the medical market by providing implant surfaces that are biologically active resulting in stimulation of the bone healing process with attraction of bone healing cells to the surface and acceleration of the bone healing cascade, even away from the surface.  MST currently is focused on surfaces that may promote and accelerate bone healing to implants, including joint reconstruction, spinal fixation devices, interbody devices, and dental implants.

Biogenic Surfaces