Devices & Diagnostics

Could primordial goo be the next advancement in medical device coating?

Compounds more than a billion years old could be what makes implanted devices more acceptable for the body.

Primordial goo, or prebiotic compounds from more than a billion years ago, are believed to be the source of all living beings, so it’s rather practical that it could be one of the safest protecting barriers with implanted medical devices. Australian researchers have determined this to be the case.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians receive medical implants like bone replacements, catheters and pacemakers every year, the study’s lead researcher, Dr Richard Evans said, according to CISRO. “The human body is a complex system, so there is a lot to consider when implanting artificial parts. Reducing the likelihood of infection and ensuring the body doesn’t reject implants are ongoing medical challenges,” he said.

The primordial goo can be applied to medical devices as a coating in order to improve their performance and increase the chances of the body accepting it, and it would actually be cheaper and easier. The researchers figured out that the because this coating is bio-friendly, cells will readily grow and incorporate it.

“The non-toxic coating is adhesive and will coat almost any material, making its potential biomedical applications really broad,” Evans said.

CISRO is the first organization using these prebiotic compounds in this way.

The researchers hope to use this insight to further develop an implantable device that could potentially mimic the function of the pancreas, in turn offering a long-term treatment for diabetes patients. This could also be applicable to other devices.

Photo: Flickr user DonkeyHotey