Plasma and Electrospray Deposition to Improve the Biocompatibility of Stents
Metallic Intravascular stents are medical devices used to scaffold a biological lumen, mostly diseased arteries, after balloon angioplasty. They are commonly made of 316L stainless steel or Nitinol, two alloys containing Nickel, an element classified as potentially toxic and carcinogenic. Although they are largely implanted, the long-term safety of such metallic elements is still controversial, since the corrosion processes may lead to the release of several metallic ions. In order to avoid the metallic ion release in the body and to improve the biocompatibility of metallic stents with their biological environments, polymer coatings have been deposited by two different technologies, i.e. plasma surface modifications and Electrospraying. The role of the polymer coating is then to encapsulate the stainless steel device, and to favour the chemical grafting of Phosphorylcholine, a molecule known for its hemocompatible properties.1 In this talk, the state of the art on low pressure and atmospheric pressure plasmas for deposition of organic coatings will be given and we will present the advantages and drawbacks of each process. Then, we will present an original technology that combine a Dielectric Barrier Discharge and an electrospraying system to deposit well-defined Polyacrylic acid and Polyallylamine films. The advantage of such system is the possibility to limit the extent of the monomer fragmentation and to give rise to rapid deposition of a highly functionalised plasma polymer layer, and also the possibility to cover three dimensional objects, such as stents. Thus, the theory of EHDA technology will be explained: special attention has been paid to define the Electrospray parameters (Voltage, flow of precursor, nozzle-substrate distance…) which control the size distribution of the charged droplets and as a consequence, the structure of the film coating. The film coatings have been analysed with XPS and by ATR. Moreover, special attention will be paid on the stability of the coating which is related to both spraying conditions as well as to the preliminary plasma treatment. The potentiality and the features of the EHDA process will be then presented.
T. Chandra, K. Tsuzaki, M. Militzer , C. Ravindran
M. Tatoulian et al., "Plasma and Electrospray Deposition to Improve the Biocompatibility of Stents", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 539-543, pp. 529-534, 2007