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Enhanced endothelial cell density on NiTi surfaces with sub-micron to nanometer roughness

Authors Samaroo HD, Lu J, Webster TJ 

Published 7 March 2008 Volume 2008:3(1) Pages 75—82


Harry D Samaroo, Jing Lu, Thomas J Webster

Division of Engineering, Brown, University, Providence, RI, USA

Abstract: The shape memory effect and superelastic properties of NiTi (or Nitinol, a nickel-titanium alloy) have already attracted much attention for various biomedical applications (such as vascular stents, orthodontic wires, orthopedic implants, etc). However, for vascular stents, conventional approaches have required coating NiTi with anti-thrombogenic or antiinflammatory drug-eluting polymers which as of late have proven problematic for healing atherosclerotic blood vessels. Instead of focusing on the use of drug-eluting anti-thrombogenic or anti-inflammatory proteins, this study focused on promoting the formation of a natural anti-thrombogenic and anti-inflammatory surface on metallic stents: the endothelium. In this study, we synthesized various NiTi substrates with different micron to nanometer surface roughness by using dissimilar dimensions of constituent NiTi powder. Endothelial cell adhesion on these compacts was compared with conventional commercially pure (cp) titanium (Ti) samples. The results after 5 hrs showed that endothelial cells adhered much better on fine grain (<60 µm) compared with coarse grain NiTi compacts (<100 µm). Coarse grain NiTi compacts and conventional Ti promoted similar levels of endothelial cell adhesion. In addition, cells proliferated more after 5 days on NiTi with greater sub-micron and nanoscale surface roughness compared with coarse grain NiTi. In this manner, this study emphasized the positive pole that NiTi with sub-micron to nanometer surface features can play in promoting a natural anti-thrombogenic and anti-inflammatory surface (the endothelium) on a vascular stent and, thus, suggests that more studies should be conducted on NiTi with sub-micron to nanometer surface features.

Keywords: nitinol, stents, nanophase, surface roughness, adhesion, endothelial cells

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