August 21, 2007 - University of Arkansas researchers have discovered a simple, inexpensive way to create a nanowire coating on the surface of biocompatible titanium that can be used to create more effective surfaces for vascular stenting, as well as hip replacement and dental reconstruction.
Wenjun Dong, Tierui Zhang, Lisa Cooney, Hong Wang, Yanbin Li, Andrew Cogbill, Vijay Varadan and Z. Ryan Tian of the University of Arkansas, Ying-Bing Jiang of the University of New Mexico, and Joshua Epstein of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences report their findings in an upcoming issue of the journal Chemistry of Materials.
The researchers used an alkali and heat to create titanium oxide-based ceramic nanowires that coat the surface of a titanium medical device.
Because the researchers can control the size and shape of the pores in the nanowire scaffold, the material could be coated onto stents used in patients with coronary artery disease and in potential stroke victims. Conventional stents sometimes become reclogged with fat after implantation. Drug-eluting stents consist of a polymer coating mixed with the drugs, but the coating may be vulnerable to biodegradation, and may not function for long. The nanowire coating without the degradation problem could be used to carry drugs that would help keep the arteries clear over a long period of time.
"This drug release could be applied to the angioplasty catheter's surface," Tian said.
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