Infoscience

Conference paper

In-situ photopolymerized and monitored implants: successful application to an intervertebral disc replacement

Photopolymerization is a common method to harden materials initially in a liquid state. A surgeon can directly trigger the solidification of a dental implant or a bone or tissue filler by using ultra-violet light. Traditionally, photopolymerization has been used mainly in dentistry. Over the last decade advances in material development including a wide range of biocompatible gel-and cement-systems open up a new avenue for in-situ photopolymerization. We designed a miniaturized light probe where a photoactive material can be 1) mixed, pressurized and injected 2) photopolymerized or photoactivated and 3) monitored during the chemical reaction. The device enables surgeries to be conducted through a hole smaller than 500 mu m in diameter. Using a combination of Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy, the current state of the photopolymerization was inferred and monitored in real time within an in-vitro tissue model. It was also possible to determine roughly the position of the probe within the tissue cavity by analysing the fluorescence signal. Using the technique hydrogels were successfully implanted into a bovine intervertebral disc model. Mechanical tests could not obstruct the functionality of the implant. Finally, the device was also used for other application such as the implantation of a hydrogel into an aneurysm tissue cavity which will be presented at the conference.

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