Biomaterials - Nanoscale textures for implantable devices
Cell behaviour is typically dependent on both internal and external factors. External factors can include chemical, electrical and topographical stimuli. Researchers in Tyndall are investigating the use of topographical stimuli to manipulate the adhesion and growth of cells on surfaces, for the purpose of enhancing biocompatibility of implantable devices. By investigating the growth and behaviour of cells on a range of micro- and nanotextured surfaces, the potential to develop a new generation of implantable devices will be explored.
State-of-the-art nanoscale patterning tools (e.g. focussed ion beam lithography) are being used to create different types of features, while a suite of nanoscale characterisation tools are being used for describing both the features and the responses of cells to those features with respect to adhesion, growth, morphology, etc. Through this research, it is hoped to facilitate the development of a new generation of implantable devices which enable a more rapid and natural integration with the surrounding cells and tissues. If successful, this would reduce both the likelihood for complications and the need for drugs to facilitate the integration of the device in the body. The initial focus of the research has concentrated on developing nanotextured materials for use in implantable devices for treating cardiovascular disease.
This research is supported by the Irish Higher Education Authority Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI)
Dr Paul Galvin
Head of Life Sciences Interface, Tyndall National Institute