Medical implants such as catheters and intents presented risk for blood clotting and infection, a lasting problem for numerous patients. Engineers now deliver a potential solution – a specially grown titanium surface known as ‘superhemophobic’ that is extremely repellent to the blood. The substance could create the basis for surgical implants with lesser risk of rejection by the body.
It is an outside-the-box invention accomplished at the intersection of two disciplines – materials science and biomedical engineering. The work is an association between the labs of Arun Kota, assistant lecturer of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, and Ketul Popat, an associate lecturer in the same departments. Kota, an expert in the new, ‘superomniphobic’ substances that repel virtually any joined liquid forces with Popat, an innovator in tissue engineering and bio-compatible substances. Instigating with sheets of titanium popularly employed for medical devices, their labs expanded chemically altered surfaces that function as perfect barriers between the blood and titanium.
Their groups conducted experiments showing very small levels of platelet adhesion, a biological procedure that result in blood clotting and ultimate rejection of a foreign substance. A material ‘phobic’ to blood may seem counterintuitive, the scientists say, as often biomedical researchers employ materials ‘philic’ to blood to prepare them biologically compatible. “What we are performing is the exact opposite,” says Kota. “We are taking a substance that blood hates to come in contact with, to make it compatible with blood.”
The core interaction of blood with foreign substances is an on-going issue in medical research, confirms Popat. Over time, stents from the obstructions, clots, and result in heart attacks or embolisms. Often patients require blood-thinning medications for the entire of their lives and the drugs are not fool proof.
“The reason blood clots is because it identifies cells in the blood to go to and attach,” says Popat. “Usually, blood flows in the vessels. If we can design substances where blood barely contacts the surface, there is virtually no possibility of clotting, which is a coordinated set of events. Here, we are targeting the prevention of the primary set of events.”
The scientists analysed variations within titanium surfaces, comprising distinct textures and chemistries, and they compared the extent of platelet activation and adhesion. Fluorinated nanotubes delivered the finest protection against clotting, and they intend to conduct the further experiments.
Expanding a surface and testing it in the laboratory in just the only beginning, the scientists confirm. They want to continue examining and analysing other clotting factors, and ultimately, to test the real medical devices.
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