Forsterite as a coating material

So I was doing some reading earlier today and came across a single sentence that stated forsterite (Mg2SiO4) had promise as an implant coating. This got me interested so I started looking further into it. From what I can glean it seems like it’s very effective for implants for a few reasons (though might be slightly out of the scope of biohacking for just now, but I’ll get to that)

1.) It has superior mechanical qualities when compared to bioglass.
2.) It has better tissue integration than traditional bio-compatable materials.
3.) It inherently acts as an antibacterial agent.
4.) It doesn’t slough off.

My source for most of this is Antibacterial forsterite (Mg2SiO4) scaffold: A promising bioceramic for load bearing applications - ScienceDirect but I have found several other sources that reaffirm the statements. Now all the sources I’ve seen about it discussed it in relation to applications such as dental implants or hip replacements which mechanically are much more demanding use cases than most of the implants currently in use on this forum, so just for that it might not be worth the cost. But I also suspect because of the very good incorporation it might make removal easier. What are your thoughts on this or any other exotic implant materials?
Side note: imagine this for a bone conduction implant or simmilar

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I’m not sure if this is a good thing. Depends on your point of view. One of the nice things about bio-glass is that it doesn’t get bound to flesh, so that if you need to remove it, it just pops out.

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That’s a very interesting paper, thanks for the share. It describes some interesting testing methods that would be used at the University level when the correct tools are available. Their descriptions are very thorough, especially for a paper that’s not behind a pay wall.

I like the idea of this coating method, but I don’t think it would be viable for our use case. The primary goal for the sintered coating version (not the loose particulate) seems to be to avoid the formation of biofilms around newly implanted hip and knee replacements, which are constructed of titanium and ceramics. These coating targets can withstand the 1300°C sintering process, but electronics and magnets (common materials implanted my biohackers) cannot.

Additionally, the method of action for the antibacterial properties of Mg2SiO4 is to donate Mg+ ions to the surrounding bodily fluids and lower the pH. In doing so, they measured a 2.8% loss in it’s mass over a 30 day period in a static bath filled with a bodily fluids facsimile. Even if there is a floor on the amount of degradation that the coating can undergo, in a matter of weeks small pits and holes in the coating would form, allowing your body to infiltrate the implant.

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Good analysis @Satur9

This is why these are called coatings, not encapsulants. A coating in medical terms is not meant to form a seal, it is typically meant to enhance the performance of an implant by imparting some property. In terms of this coating, my hunch is that tissue integration is very likely an emergent feature of it’s degradation. The biggest risk period for an implant to develop colonization and biofilms are the first few weeks due to bio-contamination during implantation. The coating works well during this period, subduing bacterial growth, while at the same time allowing pits and holes to develop for tissue to integrate with.


These coating targets can withstand the 1300°C sintering process

Hmmmmm while I do definitely see the problems with that I don’t see sintering as even 100% necessary, at least not as long as vacuum sputtering (or maybe even vacuum deposition could work, might also give much thicker coatings) and those should be fairly gentle on whatever implants are there. Obviously it’s much harder to accomplish but definitely something to think about (banger intro to sputtering Intro to sputtering (process to create clear, conductive coatings) - YouTube
More info about sputtering: process parameters, chamber construction - YouTube)

in a matter of weeks small pits and holes in the coating would form, allowing your body to infiltrate the implant

While I do see the problems with that, as @amal pointed out it would only be a coating. I can definitely see at least a few niche uses for something like this. first thing that comes to mind is treating a TITAN with it to get a coating on it, and then if there’s a soul brave enough for it they could have it put into their cheekbone. Then once the integration is complete you can use an excitation circuit to perhaps hear music. alternatively this could open up the route to customized dental implants and alike. I don’t think it will be without its problems but I think for some applications it might be perfect

Hmm… well, there is a difference between osseointegration (bone) and tissue integration… and there are coatings specifically for osseointegration… dunno if this one will work well enough for that… didn’t read too carefully as @Satur9 did a great breakdown… but it might be fun to try it :slight_smile:

Yeah from what I see they’re referring specifically to osseointegration, apparently the osteoblasts stick to it much more readily than other materials (and I did somewhat assume if that’s the case for osteoblasts then it would apply to other cells as well). Exciting things certainly lie in the future for biohacking

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