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Non-slip tracheal implants
Date:7/9/2012

funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF.

Bioactive coatings lower the risk for patients

The scientists used stents lined with a polyurethane (PU) film, which were produced by Aachen-based Leufen Medical GmbH. In the ensuing tests, a wide variety of different coatings were applied to the PU film: In addition to synthetic polymers composed of organic acids, the researchers also tried out biological proteins such as fibronectin and type-I collagen. The coating was modified again using plasma technology, with vacuum-ionized gas being used to treat the surface. The experts used an untreated PU film for control purposes. "In order to find out which of the surface coatings was the most suitable, we brought both lab-cultivated cell lines and human primary tracheal epithelial cells into contact with the films in cell culture vessels. What we wanted, of course, was for the primary respiratory cells from human tissue to attach themselves to the film," explains Hampel. The researchers achieved their best results with the protein-coated film, on which the primary tracheal epithelial cells grew particularly well and multiplied. "The respiratory cells proved to be more vital on bioactive films rather than on ones treated with plasma. By contrast, polymer-coated film turned out to be completely useless," says Hampel.

The laboratory tests have since been completed, and animal tests are in preparation. If the good lab results are confirmed in these tests, the next step will be to conduct clinical trials of the modified stents at the Schillerhhe specialist lung clinic, part of the Robert Bosch Hospital. "We hope that, within just a few years, our well-tolerated, cell-compatible surface coatings will be used for other biomedical prostheses such as pacemaker leads, tooth implants and replacement joints," says Hampel.


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Contact: Dr. Martina Hampel
Martina.Hampel@igb.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-4083
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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