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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.2013006216
pages 195-209

The Nano-Effect: Improving the Long-Term Prognosis for Musculoskeletal Implants

Linlin Sun
School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence RI 02912, USA
David A. Stout
School of Engineering, Division of Biology and Medicine, Brown University, Providence RI 02912, USA
Thomas J. Webster
School of Engineering, Department of Orthopaedics, Brown University, Providence RI 02912 USA


Due to their superior cytocompatible, mechanical, electrical, optical, catalytic, and magnetic properties, nanomaterials (materials with one dimension ≤100 nm) have been investigated intensely for numerous medical applications including, most notably, as improved tissue engineering materials and in situ sensors. In particular, compared to conventional materials (materials without one dimension ≤100 nm) used for orthopedic applications, nanomaterials have demonstrated an enhanced capability to restore, maintain, and improve bone tissue formation while inhibiting inflammation and infection. This review article elucidates several promising examples of nanomaterials (including polymers, metals, and ceramics) to improve musculoskeletal implant performance in terms of enhanced bone cell functions, reduced inflammation, and inhibiting infection. With respect to the emergence of tissue engineering in orthopedic applications, this review summarizes recent efforts to develop nanostructured polymers and self-assembled nano-materials, which have improved bone growing properties than traditional permanent orthopedic medical devices.