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Unveiling the Secrets Within Exploring Biomaterials, Genetics, and the Future of Implants

Materials.Business Newsletter ⚙️ September 06th, 2023


Podcast Guests: David Langton

Summary of the discussion

In the realm of healthcare, the marvels of medical technology have brought forth transformative innovations, none more emblematic than joint replacement surgeries. These procedures have granted countless individuals a new lease on life, promising relief from debilitating pain and restoring mobility. However, beneath the surface of this medical triumph lies a world of complexities, uncertainties, and untapped potential. In a conversation that transcends disciplines, Monica Hernandez, with her background in industrial material testing, and Dave Langton, an expert in orthopedics, delve into the intricacies of joint implants. Together, they explore the enigmatic interplay between the human body and implanted materials, the quest to mitigate chronic post-surgical pain, and the relentless pursuit of enhancing implant performance. In this enlightening dialogue, we venture into the heart of medical innovation and the crossroads where science, engineering, and medicine converge to shape the future of joint replacements.
5 Important Points Highlighted in the Discussion:

Immune Response: The body's immune response to metal debris from joint implants can lead to damaging reactions, posing a significant concern for metal implants. They discussed that about 10 to 20% of knee replacement patients experience chronic pain following the surgery, highlighting the need for improvement in this area.

Polyethylene vs. Metal: Polyethylene plastic wear generates less aggressive immune responses compared to metal debris. However, damage to the bone may take years to become evident. It was also highlighted that some knee surgeons still don't test patients for metals in their blood tests.

Testing: The goal of joint replacements is to prevent bone damage, which can lead to implant failure. Reducing wear exposure and developing less immunogenic materials are key strategies. It was discussed that most knee surgeons (unlike hip surgeons) do not measure blood metal line levels because they don't think hardly any cobalt Chrome is shed from a knee, but all the evidence recently coming out, actually shows that the cobalt Chrome releases higher than we originally thought.

Learning from Explants: Dave stressed the significance of studying implants that have been inside the body as the ultimate test. Examining the wear patterns, scars, and other characteristics of explanted implants provides valuable insights into their performance. By comparing the reconstructed, original surfaces with the shape they are after removal, they can calculate how much material has been removed while in the body. Protecting patients and improving devices by combining the knowledge derived from the examination of explants, ExplantLab can determine how and why those devices have performed well or poorly. This allows us to determine whether or not pre-market testing of devices is sufficiently appropriate and safe.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Both, Monica and Dave, emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration between clinicians, engineers, materials experts, and pathologists. They discussed that successful solutions often emerge when experts from diverse backgrounds work together to tackle complex problems.

Sustainability of implants: Ensuring the sustainability of medical implants through the right selection of materials is not merely a matter of technological advancement; it is a profound imperative in an era marked by aging populations and surging healthcare demands. With a significant portion of the population, such as in the UK, poised to necessitate joint replacements during their lifetime, the economic burden on healthcare systems is palpable. Foresight and precision in material choices for implants are paramount to preemptively mitigate this strain. As individuals live longer, these implants must endure not just years, but decades within the human body. The ethical and fiscal responsibility of sustaining and maintaining these implants underscores the urgency for collaborative research, interdisciplinary solutions, and a relentless pursuit of materials that can withstand the test of time, securing both the well-being of patients and the economic viability of healthcare systems.

In conclusion, the discussion between Monica and Dave shed light on the challenges and complexities of joint replacements, especially regarding knee and hip implants. One critical aspect is the body's immune response to implant materials, with metal debris posing potential risks. Additionally, the choice of materials can influence immune reactions and long-term outcomes. Preventing long-term problems, such as bone damage, remains a primary goal in joint replacements. This necessitates reducing wear exposure and developing less immunogenic materials.

Examining explanted implants plays a pivotal role in improving implant designs and patient outcomes. To achieve that, Dave and his team need these explants in their hands and NOT IN THE BIN!

Interdisciplinary collaboration emerged as a key theme throughout the conversation, emphasizing the importance of diverse expertise in addressing complex issues. Finally, the discussion concluded by encouraging continuous curiosity and the habit of asking questions, highlighting the need for ongoing improvement in medical implant technology. Overall, the conversation underscored the significance of studying explanted implants, interdisciplinary cooperation, and a relentless pursuit of innovation in healthcare.
David Langton, Director of ExplantLab, is a highly accomplished bioengineer and surgeon. With a background in medicine and a Ph.D. in bioengineering, he leads the charge in utilizing advanced technology to understand the performance of medical implants, ensuring patient safety and enhancing future device efficacy.
ExplantLab is an orthogenomic biotechnology company. ExplantLab is the largest independent orthopedic retrieval company in the UK and the provider of explant analysis to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom. ExplantLab has recently launched “Orthotype”, a machine learning algorithm which uses DNA genotyping to determine a patient’s risk of developing an adverse immune response to joint replacements.

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Cast your vote | Votez en grand nombre | Momento de votar !!!! - You can vote until September the 10th!

We are thrilled to announce an incredible achievement that truly reflects the power of unity and diversity. Our very own Monica has been recognized as one of the distinguished finalists among the top 20 contenders for the #TLN10MostInfluentialHispanicCanadiansAwards! 🏆
Monica shares this prestigious honor with 19 other remarkable representatives of the Hispanic heritage within Canada, each weaving a unique tapestry of cultures and experiences that enrich the nation's fabric. At its core, this acknowledgment stands as a testament to the concerted efforts of Canada's dynamic Hispanic community, united in purpose to foster positive impacts that ripple through neighborhoods and beyond, spotlighting their exceptional talents and triumphs.

Now, it's time for our community to take center stage! The online voting phase has officially begun, marking a momentous era where individual voices hold remarkable sway in determining the composition of the coveted top 10. Each vote represents the potential to shape the narrative and honor those who have committed themselves to instigating change.

To cast your vote and be part of this empowering journey, please visit: Vote Here. Let's come together to celebrate the fortitude inherent in our community, applaud those who have demonstrated unwavering dedication in catalyzing transformation, and embrace the multifaceted facets of diversity. Remember, every vote is not just a click; it's a stride toward acknowledging excellence and heralding the accomplishments of those who inspire.

The resonance of this endeavor is magnified by the understanding that together, we can amplify our shared impact. Monica extends her heartfelt gratitude for the steadfast support and encouragement you have all provided. She rallies each individual to spread the word, extending the reach of this call to action and underscoring the potent force of collective voices.

Let's use these hashtags to amplify our cause:
This is a cause that resonates deeply, fortified by the unity of the Hispanic community within Canada. TLN Media Group serves as the conduit for this resounding chorus of transformation.
Join us in this exciting journey, and together, let's make our voices heard and celebrated!

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