Secondary coating to improve healing post implantation.

I've been thinking, what if there was a second coating we could put ontop of the TiN coating to help the scar tissue heal faster. Something that could possibly ever reduce scaring. I read about powdered and gel extra cellular matrix extracted from pig spleens. When applied to damaged limbs it helped them regrow. A soldier recently had a gel form injected into a nasty leg wound that had removed 70 percent of the muscle and with the injections the area grew back completely. If we could make a simple process for manufacturing the powder we could in theory coat implants to sped recovery and integration. maybe even something that could stimulate additional nerve growth post op to make the area more sensitive.


  • The powder you're referring to is actually commercially available under the trade name "ACell"
    It may or may not have some mildly beneficial effect on scar formation (certainly not enough to be routinely used in implant procedures among plastic surgeons); but I'm not sure it would really prove beneficial for the functioning of your implants.
  • Yeah. Another cell type used is from bladder wall of something like an armadillo or something. It was something quote random, but I've seen wounds heal with it and it's pretty amazing stuff. To be honest.... who has scarring? The only scarring I've ever had an issue with was when I did a nasty fishmouth incision and tried to place one just below my fingernail. It's a terrible place for an incision and I just couldn't keep the wound shut well enough. I couldn't get it to aproximate well so I took it out. I had some scarring in that area for probably 6 months but it resolved in that I have no change in tissue density or sensation.

    Maybe the issue is really more something to do with how people are implanting these things? Or aftercare? I have one remaining Parylene and I'm totally going to cut it out and then just pop in an M31. I don't think I'm going to have issue with scarring either.
  • What I'm truly more interested in, and something I've been looking into is a nerve growth factor. If we could facility an increase in nerve density? Cool cool. I'm just not sure if this will work as it's a tad more complicated than I'm saying. There are number of things to consider. Merkel cells are derived from the epithelial layer for example so I don't know if tradition NGF stuff has an effect. It might work for Ruffini cells but to be honest I don't know.
    Alternatively, one might consider something along the lines of stem cells with the proper signalling chems to trigger them into becoming a particular neuron type. This is all speculation though. It deserves further attention perhaps.
  • @Cassox I came across a study awhile back that looked into making neural progenitor cells from discarded epithelial cells in someones urine. I don't have the study on hand but I think it'll be easy enough to find with just that info. They even went as far being able to coax astroglia which is a very interesting prospect.
  • i reckon, if you could coax new nerve growth around the implants, any implants magnet or not, you could in theory have the implant anywhere and have it be just as sensitive or simply turn up the sensitivity or allow for even smaller implants
  • Very interesting. I'll have to read it. Yeah, the point isn't really the magnet implants that don't neccesarilly warrant such complexity. The point is for the upcoming nerve interface project. Placement of the array is probably the largest obstruction. Playing with nerves is microsurgery. Not a simple task. It'd be a lot easier if we could make the nervous system come to us.
  • At the risk of sounding critical, the thinking may be too complex with the neural progenitor cells and nerve growth factor, etc.  Brilliant people spend their entire careers trying to get things like that up and running. 
    Probably more fruitful to focus on the integration of existing readily available technology with the body in simple, useful ways.  
    I personally think that an implantable electrical array that is placed with topographic specificity along the course of a nerve is the most useful building block to start with.  The electrical array can be stimulated/induced by external magnets.  There is a very solid precedent for this with cochlear implants for the deaf.  The challenge is to figure out how parallel technology implanted in a different area of the body (e.g. the extremities) for a different purpose (need to figure out a useful purpose....) can be useful enough to pursue.  
  • Hmm, first let's clarify "scarring" and scar tissue better ... the collagen platform stuff I've been talking about over on the magnet thread is meant to allow tissue to grow into the scaffold so it's nice and ordered. There can be tissue growth around implants that is not necessarily the hard "scar tissue" normally thought of as scar tissue, but still an unordered jumbled mess of cells which may lead to longer healing times and decrease the effectiveness of the implant, particularly when trying to sense things with an implant (like magnets or SpO2)

    The nerve growth factor may be interesting though as it may help repair nerve pathways to the skin that were damaged during the implant procedure. The random twinges and itching you can experience for up to 24 months after an implant has been placed is due to those pathways being reconnected at a really slow rate. Speeding that process up and improving the overall number of nerves that get reconnected in the end would be pretty amazing.
  • Ya microsurgery even sounds like a pain in the ass. Im always keen on making other things do the hard work, specially something like this. besides growing new nerves is akin to growing a new sense input port whereas the microsurgery is more akin to screwing with another system. Regardless i think a nerve growth factor is something we need to work on as it'll be more useful than we can imagine for other projects
  • @NeoSapiensSurgery I agree with you however the largest obstacle is the actual procedure itself in my opinion. As you mentioned, electrical arrays have been used enough to be relatively simple, however finding somebody to perform the procedure has been my main planning catch.
  • Well, that's where I come in.  More than capable of performing the procedure.  However, we first need to come up with agreed-upon ethical guidelines for performing these types of procedures. 
    My best thought on how to do that is to collect an information registry from the members of this forum that documents what they have already done to themselves and what they are interested in doing in the future.  Once this is catalogued, I could publish it in a scientific journal and begin a legitimate discourse about whether mainstream medical professionals (who have the training to do what you are asking) should be 'allowed' to perform these services or not.

    My feeling is "yes."  I don't see how it's any different than cosmetic surgery as long as the patient understands the risks and benefits; but since it has never been done before, there will be a much greater "what if" factor with the initial subjects, so an ethical discussion and acceptance by the medical community will be paramount.  Let me know if you're interested in participating in this registry study I mentioned.  
  • I would participate, but will message you to avoid further hijacking of this thread
  • So any ideas on a nerve growth factor then?
  • Stem Cells. But good luck with that

  • Anyone ever tried honey? I use it on cuts and scrapes all the time instead of neosporin. it actually works way better than any of the creams you buy at the store. and its a natural antiseptic. 
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