The prosthetic implants are being developed by staff at Glasgow University in collaboration with surgeons at the city's Southern General Hospital and they hope to have a prototype ready within 10 years.
The move follows a breakthrough last year by a team at the university's Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology when they succeeded in creating a special plastic capable of controlling what stem cells become – a technique that was previously impossible.
The plastic is covered in tiny pits, 120 nanometres across, which, when stem cells are placed on the surface, encourages them to grow and spread across the pits in a way which ensures they grow to become bone cells.
Dr Matthew Dalby, a specialist in bone tissue engineering at the institute said: "By covering the implant in this surface, we can ensure the stem cells differentiate into the bone cells.
"This will help the implant site repair itself much more effectively than has ever been possible before and could well mean implants will last for the rest of a patient's life.
"Our new implant could be the solution to the expensive and painful follow-up surgeries which conventional implants require."
Currently, replacement hips are commonly made from materials such as polyethylene, stainless steel, titanium or ceramic and tend to require replacement every 15 to 20 years.
When traditional implants are fixed into bone marrow, the marrow's stem cells do not receive messages from the body to differentiate into bone cells.
Instead they usually differentiate into a build-up of soft tissue which, combined with the natural loss of bone density that occurs as people age, can weaken the bond between the implant and the body.
Dominic Meek, Consultant in Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital, said: "It's an extremely exciting project to be working on. We're keen to see a prototype ready for use in hip replacement surgery within a decade."