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.
"We can control the length, the height, the pore openings and the pore volumes within the nanowire scaffolds" by varying the time, temperature and alkali concentration in the reaction, said Z. Ryan Tian, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. "This process is also extremely sustainable," requiring only that the device be rinsed in reusable water after the heating process.
Reconstructive bone surgeries, such as hip replacements, use titanium implants. However, muscle tissue may not adhere well to titanium's smooth surface, causing the implant to fail after a decade or so and requiring the patient to undergo a second surgery.
Tian and his colleagues created a nanowire-coated joint and placed it in mice. After four weeks, the researchers found that tissue had adhered to the joint.
"We saw beautiful tissue growth - lots of muscle fibers," Tian said. "We've added one more function to the currently-in-use titanium implant."
Because the researchers can control the size and shape of the pores in the nanowire scaffold, the material also 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. The most recent stent used to address this problem, called the drug-eluting stent, consists 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.
In addition to these biomedical applications, the nanofiber scaffold has a property that may make it useful in both hospitals and food processing plants: The material, when rinsed in water and exposed to ultraviolet light, kills more than 99 percent of bacteria on its surface. This effect occurs because photons from the light cause a charge separation on the material, splitting water molecules into free radicals that destroy the bacteria. Alternatively, immersion in 70 percent ethanol completely sterilizes the material, allowing growth of cells/tissues in the laboratory prior to implantation.
This property could prove extremely useful in bacteria-prone environments, performing such functions as sterilizing on-site surgery hospitals used during military actions or cleaning surfaces in meat-processing plants.
"You could just use water to rinse and UV light to sterilize surfaces," Tian said.
The researchers have applied for a provisional patent for the multifunctional nanowire bioscaffolds on titanium or titanium-containing alloys such as Nitinol.
Melissa Lutz Blouin | EurekAlert!
Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark
28.10.2016 | Vanderbilt University
Activation of 2 genes linked to development of atherosclerosis
28.10.2016 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences