Medical implants we have today like stents, catheters and tubing may increase the risk of infection and blood clotting in patients. Thus, engineers at Colorado State University are proposing a possible solution. Using "superhemophobic” titanium surface that’s extremely repellent to blood, medical implants may become safer and more efficient for medical procedures.
Arun Kota, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering and Ketul Popat, associate professor in the same departments, collaborated on a work published in Advanced Healthcare Materials.
The experts used sheets of titanium, commonly used for medical devices, and chemically altered surfaces, acting perfect barriers between the titanium and blood. In the conducted lab tests, they learned that there were very low levels of platelet adhesion to superhemophobic devices.
This outcome is vital, because the platelet adhesion is a biological process that leads to blood clotting and eventual rejection of a foreign material. Reaction of blood to foreign materials introduced in the body has been an on-going problem in medical research.
Therefore, experts created a material that would not even get in contact with blood.
“What we are doing is the exact opposite,” Kota told the Colorado State University
. “We are taking a material that blood hates to come in contact with, in order to make it compatible with blood.”
"The reason blood clots is because it finds cells in the blood to go to and attach,” Popat said in an interview
. “Normally, blood flows in vessels. If we can design materials where blood barely contacts the surface, there is virtually no chance of clotting, which is a coordinated set of events. Here, we’re targeting the prevention of the first set of events.”