Influence of ECAP process on mechanical and corrosion properties of pure Mg and ZK60 magnesium alloy for biodegradable stent applications
Equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) was performed on ZK60 alloy and pure Mg in the temperature range 150–250 °C. A significant grain refinement was detected after ECAP, leading to an ultrafine grain size (UFG) and enhanced formability during extrusion process. Comparing to conventional coarse grained samples, fracture elongation of pure Mg and ZK60 alloy were significantly improved by 130% and 100%, respectively, while the tensile strength remained at high level. Extrusion was performed on ECAP processed billets to produce small tubes (with outer/inner diameter of 4/2.5 mm) as precursors for biodegradable stents. Studies on extruded tubes revealed that even after extrusion the microstructure and microhardness of the UFG ZK60 alloy were almost stable. Furthermore, pure Mg tubes showed an additional improvement in terms of grain refining and mechanical properties after extrusion. Electrochemical analyses and microstructural assessments after corrosion tests demonstrated two major influential factors in corrosion behavior of the investigated materials. The presence of Zn and Zr as alloying elements simultaneously increases the nobility by formation of a protective film and increase the local corrosion damage by amplifying the pitting development. ECAP treatment decreases the size of the second phase particles thus improving microstructure homogeneity, thereby decreasing the localized corrosion effects.
Water uptake and swelling in single trabeculæ from human femur head
The swelling of air-dried single trabeculae from human femur heads was obtained by complete immersion in water and the dimensional changes of the samples were measured over time. The experimental results were analyzed under the viewpoint of the diffusion through a porous material. The dimensional changes of the single trabeculae were 0.26 ± 0.15 percent (length), 0.45 ± 0.25 percent (width) and 1.86 ± 0.97 percent (thickness). The diffusion coefficients were then calculated from the swelling recorded over time and a value of (4.12 ± 0.8) x 10−10(m2s−1) (mean ± standard deviation) was found.
Since the dimensional variations of the specimens is due to the swelling of the collagen bone matrix, this technique could offer new insights for (1) a selective characterization of bone microstructure at the collagen matrix level and (2) the dynamics of diffusion through bone tissue.
Characterization of a bioactive fiber scaffold with entrapped HUVECs in coaxial electrospun core-shell fiber
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were successfully entrapped in polyethylene oxide (PEO) core /polycaprolactone (PCL) shell electrospun fibers thus creating a “bioactive fiber.” The viability and release of biomolecules from the entrapped cells in the bioactive fibers were characterized. A key modification to the core solution was the inclusion of 50% fetal bovine serum (FBS), which improved cell viability substantially. The fluorescein diacetate (FDA) staining revealed that the entrapped cells were intact and viable immediately after the electrospinning process. A long-term cell viability assay using AlamarBlue® showed that cells were viable for over two weeks. Secreted Interleukin-8 (IL-8) was monitored as a candidate released protein, which can also act as an indicator of HUVEC stress. These results demonstrated that HUVECs could be entrapped within the electrospun scaffold with the potential of controllable cell deposition and the creation of a bioactive fibrous scaffold with extended functionality.
Comprehensive histological evaluation of bone implants
To investigate and assess bone regeneration in sheep in combination with new implant materials classical histological staining methods as well as immunohistochemistry may provide additional information to standard radiographs or computer tomography. Available published data of bone defect regenerations in sheep often present none or sparely labeled histological images. Repeatedly, the exact location of the sample remains unclear, detail enlargements are missing and the labeling of different tissues or cells is absent. The aim of this article is to present an overview of sample preparation, staining methods and their benefits as well as a detailed histological description of bone regeneration in the sheep tibia. General histological staining methods like hematoxylin and eosin, Masson-Goldner trichrome, Movat’s pentachrome and alcian blue were used to define new bone formation within a sheep tibia critical size defect containing a polycaprolactone-co-lactide (PCL) scaffold implanted for 3 months (n = 4). Special attention was drawn to describe the bone healing patterns down to cell level. Additionally one histological quantification method and immunohistochemical staining methods are described.
Grafting of a model protein on lactide and caprolactone based biodegradable films for biomedical applications
Thermoplastic biodegradable polymers displaying elastomeric behavior and mechanical consistency are greatly appreciated for the regeneration of soft tissues and for various medical devices. However, while the selection of a suitable base material is determined by mechanical and biodegradation considerations, it is the surface properties of the biomaterial that are responsible for the biological response. In order to improve the interaction with cells and modulate their behavior, biologically active molecules can be incorporated onto the surface of the material. With this aim, the surface of a lactide and caprolactone based biodegradable elastomeric terpolymer was modified in two stages. First, the biodegradable polymer surface was aminated by atmospheric pressure plasma treatment and second a crosslinker was grafted in order to covalently bind the biomolecule. In this study, albumin was used as a model protein. According to X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), albumin was efficiently immobilized on the surface of the terpolymer, the degree of albumin surface coverage (ΓBSA) reached ~35%. Moreover, gel permeation chromatography (GPC) studies showed that the hydrolytic degradation kinetic of the synthesized polymer was slightly delayed when albumin was grafted. However, the degradation process in the bulk of the material was unaffected, as demonstrated by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analyses. Furthermore, XPS analyses showed that the protein was still present on the surface after 28 days of degradation, meaning that the surface modification was stable, and that there had been enough time for the biological environment to interact with the modified material.
Biocompatibility and characterization of a Kolsterised® medical grade cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy
High failure rates of cobalt-chromium-molybdenum (Co-Cr-Mo) metal-on-metal hip prosthesis were reported by various authors, probably due to the alloy's limited hardness and tribological properties. This thus caused the popularity of the alloy in metal-on-metal hip replacements to decrease due to its poor wear properties when compared with other systems such as ceramic-on-ceramic. S-phase surface engineering has become an industry standard when citing surface hardening of austenitic stainless steels. This hardening process allows the austenitic stainless steel to retain its corrosion resistance, while at the same time also improving its hardness and wear resistance. By coupling S-phase surface engineering, using the proprietary Kolsterising® treatment from Bodycote Hardiff GmbH, that is currently being used mainly on stainless steel, with Co-Cr-Mo alloys, an improvement in hardness and tribological characteristics is predicted. The objective of this paper is to analyze the biocompatibility of a Kolsterised® Co-Cr-Mo alloy, and to characterize the material surface in order to show the advantages gained by using the Kolsterised® material relative to the original untreated alloy, and other materials. This work has been performed on 3 fronts including; Material characterization, “In-vitro” corrosion testing, and Biological testing conforming to BS EN ISO 10993–18:2009 - Biological evaluation of medical devices. Using these techniques, the Kolsterised® cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys were found to have good biocompatibility and an augmented corrosion resistance when compared with the untreated alloy. The Kolsterised® samples also showed a 150% increase in surface hardness over the untreated material thus predicting better wear properties.