During surgery and implantation of prosthetic implants, microorganisms tend to be introduced onto the implant surface, and then the so-called “race for the surface” begins. This phenomenon is a competitive event between bacteria biofilm formation and tissue integration.

Genetoo tackles this problem by modifying prosthetic implant surfaces using Laser Surface Texturing strategy. This technology inhibits bacteria attachments and biofilm growth without the need for antibiotic treatments, letting the body tissue surrounding the implant interacts with its surface and growth.

Laser Surface Texturing is an established set of technologies that relies on the modification of material surfaces with the aid of laser beams. During laser processing, the irradiation of the laser generates a thermal effect that leads to the ejection of material from the interacting surface area. This creates a plethora of nano- and microstructures while also modifying chemical surface properties such as wettability, bacteria adhesion, or biocompatibility. Moreover, this technology is environmentally friendly, scalable, precise, rapid, and extremely reproducible.

Among the several the Laser Surface Texturing technologies available the most well-known is named Direct Laser Writing (DLW) and is based on the direct irradiation of a material surface with a single laser beam generating different ablated structures in the nano- and microscales.

Some of the surface structures generated can be classified as followed: (a-b) Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures (LIPSS), (c-d) nanopillars array (NP), or (d-e) arrays of nanopillars covered with LIPSS (MS-LIPSS)

DLW significantly reduces the bacteria population on treated surfaces compared to untreated ones. Moreover, DLW does not impede biofilm growth but even enhances tissue integration in osteogenic and non-osteogenic medium (Alpha-MEM).

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Representative fluorescence images of Staphylococcus aureus on Ti surfaces at 48 h after bacteria seeding. TCPS (a-b), polished (c-d), LIPSS (e-f), NP (g-h), and MC-LIPSS (i-j) surfaces. Similar bacteria population was observed for Ti-6Al-4V alloy surfaces.

Two representative fluorescence images of cells cultured on Ti surfaces at four weeks after cell seeding. Cells were cultured in non-osteogenic and osteogenic media. F-actin fibres and cell nucleus were stained green and blue, respectively.  Laser treated surfaces can deal with tissue integration by recreating substrates with optimal conditions for differential, adhesion and growth of cells. Genetoo is tackling this issue by investigating how cell cultures are affected by surface topography.

Representative high magnification fluorescence images of Mesenchymal Steam Cells (MSC Cells) shape on cp Ti surfaces at 24 h cell seeding. Polished (a-c), LIPSS (d-f), NP (g-i), and MC-LIPSS (jl) surfaces. F-actin fibres and cell nucleus were stained green and blue, respectively. The yellow arrows and arrow-heads (d and j, and g) indicate the cell stretching direction and filopodia structures, respectively. Similar MSCs shapes were observed for Ti-6Al-4V alloy surfaces. 

Representative high magnification fluorescence images of F-actin fibres (green), cell nucleus (blue), and Xylenol orange (XO; red) - on cells cultured on tissue culture at four weeks after cell seeding. Cells were cultured in non-osteogenic and osteogenic media. TCPS was used as a control to confirm if the osteogenic medium was able to promote MSC osteogenesis. 
  • “Genetoo is inspired by special surface structures present in nature and uses laser technology to mimic it and win the race for the surface in favor of human health”
    Alexandre Cunha, PhD
    Member of the Technology Advisory Board, Technology Development and Implementation.