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Jan 20, 2017 01:27 PM EST

CSU Engineers Develop Blood-Repellant Surface for Medical Purposes

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Medical implants, such as stents, catheters, or tubings, can greatly help people with various problems. These devices, however, introduce another problem that patients usually face: blood clotting. Thankfully, engineers from Colorado State University have created a material that will prevent that - by repelling blood.

CSU engineers Arun Kota, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering; and Ketul Popat, associate professor in the same departments, have developed a "superhemophobic" titanium surface that is extremely repellant to blood, the CSU Source reported in a press release. The material they developed could bring greater advancements in low-risk surgical implants, and their work is published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.

Kota and Popat started working with sheets of titanium, altering its surface with chemicals until they created a material that is able to separate the titanium from the blood. They worked at getting the lowest levels of platelet adhesion, which usually leads to both a clotting of the blood and rejection of foreign material.

This new research is very promising. Popat said in the press release that the common reaction of blood to foreign materials is a big problem in medical research. Blood attaches itself to other implants such as stents, causing blood clots and other obstructions. This, in turn, could lead to heart attack.

Their new material, on the other hand, is so repellent, the blood doesn't stick to it. It's as if there's virtually no foreign material touching it. This makes it helpful in preventing avoiding blood clots in surgery and other surgical procedure.

Kota and Popat were able to create the repellant surface after analyzing the responses of platelets on various titanium surfaces, differing in textures and chemistries. They discovered that fluorinated nanotubes was the best in preventing clotting, and are planning to do follow-up experiments.

Although the findings are promising, the engineers say that it is still based on lab tests. They want to look into more factors involved in the clotting process, and then eventually be able to test real-life medical devices.

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