Further, the material can easily be sterilized using ultraviolet light and water or using ethanol, making it useful in hospital settings. 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 at the University of Arkansas.

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.

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.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville