The primary focus of nanostructured diamond coating is to improve the wear resistance and thereby the durability and osseointegration for long-term success of articulating implants and lower the need for recurrent multiple surgical procedures. Also, the development of new nanotechnology methods lead to a new class of functionalized nanostructured surfaces for titanium and cobalt chrome alloys for use in dental and orthopedic implant industry. It is estimated that more than 10 million people suffer from the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) related disorder symptoms in the Unites States alone. However, long-term success and functioning of current implant designs remains a serious problem due, in large part, to the deterioration of the implant and surrounding tissue resulting from wear debris.
Our interdisciplinary team consisting of materials physicists, engineers and dental surgeons develop novel multilayer nanostructured diamond coatings with enhanced adhesion and wear properties for articulation components in TMJ devices. We design and fabricate TMJ implant devices that have a multilayer nanostructured diamond coating for both condyle and fossa components. TMJ implant will undergo extensive testing in a TMJ simulator to 1.125 million cycles (approximately the equivalent of 10 years clinical use). The successful outcome of this study will be an improved design for TMJ devices and coatings for hard-on-hard articulation. The TMJ device will result in less long-term wear at articulating surfaces due to high hardness and very low surface roughness of nanodiamond coating. In vitro response mesenchymal stem cells and implantation of nanodiamond coated titanium evidenced the biocompatibility and biointegration characteristics of diamond surfaces. Macrophage cells responses to nanodiamond wear debris exhibited cell viability with very minimal release of pro-inflammatory mediators. In these projects, we use nanotechnology approaches to improve the joint implants for dental and othopaedic (hip and knee) applications.