The invention is a new type of osmotic silicate hydrogel. Hydrogels are cross-linked polymers having hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts in appropriate ratios, allowing them to swell in aqueous media to several times their original volume without either dissolving or changing their shape to any considerable extent. These materials are also termed “intelligent gels”, because, depending on their composition, they perceive changes in one or several environmental parameters (temperature, pH, light, magnetic field, etc.) and respond with a functional reaction (swelling, shrinking, sol-gel conversion). Owing to their advantageous properties hydrogels are widely utilized in medicine (controlled drug release, wound treatment, contact lenses).
Nanocomposites implanted subcutaneously retained their chemical stability; the new material ensures proportional skin expansion.
Benefits of the silicate nanocomposite :
— the implanted expander is extremely small,
— it requires a very small aperture for implantation, thus the surgical trauma is minimal,
— regular fill-ups are not necessary, therefore it is less painful,
— it saves time for the patient due to less post-operative follow-up
— does not irritate the surrounding tissues and cells,
— lower risk of infection from the implant,
— the patient is spared the constant discomfort of tightness associated with fill-ups,
— it is fast, simple and reliable,
— higher expansion volume (about 40 times its dry volume)