Blood refuses to go anywhere near this new medical implant material

medical implant blood repel  plasma water droplets on superhemophobic surface
Blood, plasma, and water droplets on a superhemophobic surface.
If you have a medical implant put into your body, you want it to be compatible with blood so as to cause the minimum of possible complications, right? Not necessarily.

A research project coming out of Colorado State University is suggesting a different, less conventional approach: A new type of “superhemophobic” titanium surface that’s so repellent to blood that, in theory, your body won’t even realize an implant is there.

“Researchers have been working to try and make implants that blood likes enough to be compatible,” Arun Kota, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, told Digital Trends. “We wanted to do the opposite: To make it so that implants are so repellent to blood that blood can’t even contact its surface to make it wet. In a sense, we’re tricking blood into thinking there’s nothing there at all.”

Kota’s lab has worked extensively to develop coatings and surfaces that are repellent to liquids, although this is one of his first dives into this kind of medical implant.

The material developed for this project — in conjunction with Ketul Popat, an associate professor in the same department — starts out as a regular sheet of titanium, the standard material used for medical implants. It is then chemically altered in a way that results in the total rejection of liquids, meaning that there is a barrier between the implant and a person’s blood. That means no clotting and, hopefully, a greatly reduced risk of your body rejecting an implant.

At present, this is still a research project, although Kota said he hopes it will eventually be used in human patients.

“There is still a way to go before it can be commercialized, but we’re excited about the result,” he said. “Right now, we’ve only looked at a couple of parameters, platelet adhesion and activation. The next step is to look at other parameters that influence hemocompatibility. Once we’ve done that, we want to go to in vivo studies in which we intend to implant a superhemophobic surface in a live animal, before we go through an FDA approval process to get these medical implants ready for humans.”

Emerging Tech

NASA is building an inflatable space robot named King Louie

NASA is funding an inflatable robot called King Louie which could travel to the stars in deflated form and then be blown up when and where required. Here is why that's so exciting.
Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Emerging Tech

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a world-first by 3D printing a small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers. Here's why that's so exciting.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s twin study reveals effects of time spent in space on the human body

A NASA study has revealed clues about the effects of space by studying astronaut twin brothers, Scott and Mark Kelly. Mark stayed on Earth while Scott spent 340 days aboard the International Space Station.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.
Emerging Tech

New gunfire-detection system alerts police of shooters in seconds, not minutes

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a fast gunfire-detection system that could help avert potential tragedies in public places like schools, malls, or anywhere a mass shooting might occur.
Emerging Tech

NASA chooses a special spot for its next crewed moon landing

Following the U.S. government's announcement last month of a desire to see American astronauts set foot on the moon again in the next five years, NASA has revealed a location on the lunar surface where it would most like to land.
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Emerging Tech

Yale scientists restore cellular activity in a pig’s brain hours after its death

In what some may view as a porcine version of Frankenstein, Yale University scientists have restored circulation and cellular activity in a pig’s brain four hours after its death. The study is likely to be used to study brain function
Emerging Tech

Russia’s robot news anchor gives human TV presenters hope

Human news anchors anxious about robots taking their jobs will be feeling reassured this week after the appearance on Russian TV of a news-reading android that clearly needs a bit of work.