Orthopaedic medical devices, biological interface, inorganic biomaterials, calcium phosphate, bioactive glass
Orthopaedic medical devices, including trauma fixation plates, bone screws, and hip stems, play fundamental roles in restoring function and mobility, relieving pain, and improving the quality of life for millions of patients, who suffer from trauma or impairments to the musculoskeletal system. However, problems due to aseptic loosening and orthopaedic device related infections result in poor bone–implant integration and inadequate stabilisation. A diverse array of materials, including polymers, metals, ceramics, and composite materials are utilised in orthopaedic procedures, since no single material can address differing demands related to the application, site of implantation, requirements for load bearing and articulating surfaces in addition to patient, manufacturing, and clinical requirements. This chapter describes the factors influencing the interaction of orthopaedic implants at the biological interface and how material properties can be pivotal in this regard. We provide a review of inorganic biomaterials under active investigation and in use clinically. In particular, we focus on calcium phosphate and bioactive glass materials. We present significant advancements that have been made to improve the functionality of inorganic biomaterials and enhance the clinical outcome in orthopaedic applications. We conclude by highlighting research on innovative strategies to prevent orthopaedic device related infections.