Korean researchers developed a new metallic material that can induce angiogenesis and promote tissue regeneration. A team led by Dr. Ok Myeong-ryeol at the Biomedical Research Institute of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced on Oct. 28 that they developed the new metallic material by giving a current medical metallic material simple treatments.
Medical metallic materials for medical use such as titanium or cobalt chrome alloy are generally covered with nano-meter-thick or thicker oxide films to prevent their corrosion in human bodies.
The research team developed the new technology out of the idea that the oxide film can produce oxygen free radicals known to promote the creation of angiogenesis in a suitable low concentration through photocatalytic reactions or electrochemical catalytic reactions.
The researchers produced a battery-like structure by utilizing magnesium, a main element of metals that melt in human bodies. Electrons generated by corrosion reactions of magnesium spread on the surface of a medical metallic material and generate oxygen free radicals by reducing oxygen on the oxide film surface.
Specifically, they confirmed the new material’s performances by finding optimal density that activates cells in inner walls of blood vessels by controlling active oxygen generation rates. They also developed a bolt-like prototype that is commonly used in orthopedic and dental clinics for its commercialization.
“This is a fusion technology jointly developed by researchers in various fields such as metallurgy, catalyst chemistry, electrochemistry, tissue engineering and nanotechnology,” Dr. Ok said. “In particular, our partnership with Korea University Hospital set our direction for its commercialization.” The research result recently hit the international edition of Angewandte Chemie, a world-class chemical journal published in Germany.