Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nanotubes that Heal: Engineering Better Orthopedic Implants

Fibroblasts growing on titanium alloy coated with nanotubes
Fibroblasts growing on titanium alloy coated with nanotubes

Abstract:
Titanium and its alloys have a leg up on all other materials used to make the orthopedic implants used by surgeons to repair damaged bones and joints. They are light, super-strong, and virtually inert inside the body. But whether the implants are destined for your knee, your hip, your spine or your jaw, the silvery metal has one big drawback.

By Marcia Goodrich

Nanotubes that Heal: Engineering Better Orthopedic Implants

Houghton, MI | Posted on May 19th, 2010

"Titanium has a mirror surface," says Tolou Shokufar, a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics. Cells don't adhere to it very well, so implants are often roughened up before they are placed in the body.

A good way to roughen titanium is to etch nanotubes into it, since they provide a superb surface for bone cells to grasp onto as part of the healing process. But etching nanotubes in the titanium alloy preferred by surgeons is not cheap. Conventional techniques require platinum, which costs over $1,700 an ounce.

Through her PhD work with Professor Craig Friedrich, director of the Multi-scale Technologies Institute, Shokufar has developed a less expensive way to etch nanotubes into the titanium alloy. In a weak solution of ammonium fluoride, she immerses two rods, one of the alloy, another of copper, and hooks them up to a power source. An electrical current flows into the copper, through the solution and out the titanium.

"It corrodes the titanium dioxide layer on the titanium in the form of a tube," Shokufar says, making nanotubes about seven microns long and a hundred nanometers in diameter. Growing the ideal tube takes about two hours.

Then she applies heat and pressure to the titanium alloy, annealing the nanotubes to give them a hydrophilic, crystalline structure. The surface not only attracts water, tests show it provides a friendly place for cells to grow. Shokufar has conducted experiments with fibroblasts—cells that make scar tissue—showing they grow faster on a layer of her titanium dioxide nanotubes than on the unaltered surface of the titanium alloy. Next, she aims to do a similar experiment with bone-growing osteoblasts.

Because the nanotubes are chemically identical to the titanium alloy, Shokufar expects that her innovation could be approved for medical use with relative ease. It may also have a wide variety of other applications, ranging from drug delivery to solar cells to hydrogen generation.

Her technique seems simple, but it didn't start out that way. "It took a lot of time to figure out," she says. "I'd spend days and days under the SEM, and when I went to sleep, I saw nanotubes inside my eyelids."

It's been worth it to see the perfect sheets of nanotubes grow under her care, however. "I really like them," she says. "They are like my babies."

####

About Michigan Technological University
Michigan Technological University (mtu.edu) is a leading public research university developing new technologies and preparing students to create the future for a prosperous and sustainable world. Michigan Tech offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering; forest resources; computing; technology; business; economics; natural, physical and environmental sciences; arts; humanities; and social sciences.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Marcia Goodrich

906-487-2343

Copyright © Michigan Technological University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Imec Reports Four Percent Growth for 2013 Fiscal Year End —Continues to Accelerate Innovation Through Global Collaborations and Technological Breakthroughs in Nanoelectronics— April 24th, 2014

Multicapacity Microreactor for Catalyst Characterisation April 24th, 2014

Making graphene work for real-world devices: Fundamental research in phonon scattering helps researchers design graphene materials for applications April 24th, 2014

Return on investment for kit and promotion materials April 24th, 2014

Possible Futures

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

The "Tipping Point" February 12th, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

Return on investment for kit and promotion materials April 24th, 2014

High-Performance, Low-Cost Ultracapacitors Built with Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes: Future devices based on technology could bridge gap between batteries and conventional capacitors in portable electronics and hybrid electric vehicles April 23rd, 2014

Amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes act as a carrier for nerve growth factor April 21st, 2014

Effects of Carbon Nanotubes Studied on Pregnant Mothers April 12th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Return on investment for kit and promotion materials April 24th, 2014

University of Tehran Researchers Invent Non-Enzyme Sensor to Detect Blood Sugar April 23rd, 2014

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer gene segments in a living cell April 23rd, 2014

QuantuMDx announce prototype handheld lab for 15 minute malaria diagnosis and drug resistance testing April 23rd, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE







  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE