FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - University of Arkansas researchers have found 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 hip replacement, dental reconstruction and vascular stenting. Further, the material can easily be sterilized using ultraviolet light and water or using ethanol, making it useful in hospital settings and meat-processing plants
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."
|Contact: Melissa Lutz Blouin|
American Chemical Society