Nanotechnology for Treating Damaged Organs
Atherosclerosis, which is caused by endothelial dysfunction, vascular inflammation, and the build-up of lipids, cholesterol, calcium, and cellular debris within the intima of the vessel wall, is one of the most important complications of health. Vascular stenting is the procedure of implanting a thin tube into the site of a narrow or blocked artery due to atherosclerosis. However, the application of vascular stents using conventional metals is limited because the implantation process will cause significant injury to the vascular wall and endothelium, which functions as a protective biocompatible barrier between the tissue and the circulating blood, resulting in neointima hyperplasia followed by the development of long-term restenosis. The objective of this in vitro study was to investigate the endothelial cell function, especially their adhesion behaviour, on highly controllable features on nanostructured surface. Considering the importance of the endothelium and its properties, highly controllable nanostructured surface features of titanium, a popular vascular stent metal, were created using E-beam evaporation to promote endothelialization and to control the direction of endothelial cells on vascular stents. Endothelial cells are naturally aligned with the blood flow in the body. In this manner, the present in vitro study provides much promise for the use of nanotechnology for improving metallic materials for vascular stent applications.
Witold Łojkowski and John R. Blizzard
J. Lu and T. J. Webster, "Nanotechnology for Treating Damaged Organs", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 140, pp. 119-126, 2008