Two effects with a single product – In the Nano Argovia project PERIONANO, researchers are combating inflammation around dental implants and supporting tissue regeneration

Scanning electron micrograph of the fibrous peptide network (A) and microparticles (B). (Images: FHNW School of Life Sciences, Institute for Chemistry and Bioanalytics)

In the Nano Argovia project PERIONANO, scientists from the FHNW School of Life Sciences and the Hightech Research Center of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery
(University of Basel) are working with industry partner credentis AG (Windisch, Aargau) to investigate a new approach for the treatment of inflammation around dental implants (peri-implantitis). The scientists are developing an easy-to-use system based on a peptide hydrogel with embedded particles that successively release antimicrobial active substances and also promote regeneration.

In many cases, dental implants are accompanied by inflammation due to bacterial colonization, resulting in the degradation of surrounding soft tissue and bone (peri-implantitis) and potentially leading to the loss of the implant. Peri-implantitis is usually treated using local or systemic antibiotics, but there is currently no treatment that acts against the bacteria while simultaneously encouraging regeneration of the damaged tissue.

A peptide scaffold
That is precisely the approach adopted by the team working under project leader Franziska Koch from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW). The scientists begin by using peptides that can form a fibrous network (Figure 1A). Into this network, they then incorporate a variety of particles (Figure 1B) that can release active substances little by little. With this technique, the researchers hope to achieve the localized release of various active substances, which would then combat different pathogenic species of bacteria in their vicinity. The fibrous scaffold of peptides is also intended to promote the regeneration of damaged soft and bony tissue.

Interdisciplinary collaboration
With an interdisciplinary team consisting of Franziska Koch, Professors Uwe Pieles and Oliver Germers-
haus (both from FHNW), PD Dr. Stefan Stübinger (Hightech Research Center of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Basel) and Michael Hug (credentis AG), the Nano Argovia project brings together partners with very different areas of expertise. Together, they are able to analyze the peptide-particle matrix with regard to active substance release, antimicrobial activity and regenerative potential translating it into a marketable product.

“By participating in the Nano Argovia project PERIONANO, we’re significantly extending our Curolox® Technology. This approach supports our efforts not only to keep teeth healthy but also to take care of implants by successfully treating the inflammation around the implants and by promoting regeneration.”

Michael Hug, CTO at credentis AG

More Information about the project partners: : FHNW School of Life Sciences, Hightech Research Center HFZ, credentis AG