Creating a Life-Saving, Blood-Repellent Super Material – Revolutionizing Medical Implants: Colorado State University



  • Biomedical engineers and materials scientists have developed a “superhemophobic” surface treatment for titanium that repels liquids including blood, plasma, and water.
  • The result is a surface that completely repels any liquid with which it would come in contact – a material that could revolutionize medical implants.


Implanted medical devices like stents, catheters, and titanium rods are essential, life-saving tools for patients around the world. Still, having a foreign object in the human body does pose its own risks – chiefly, having the body reject the object or increasing the risk of dangerous blood clots. A new collaboration between two distinct scientific disciplines is working toward making those risks a concern of the past.

Biomedical engineers and materials scientists from Colorado State University (CSU) have developed a “superhemophobic” surface treatment for titanium that repels liquids including blood, plasma, and water. The titanium is essentially studded with nanoscale tubes treated with a non-stick chemical. The result is a surface that completely repels any liquid with which it would come in contact. The team’s findings are published in Advanced Healthcare Materials.

Fluorinated nanotubes provided the best superhemophobic surfaces in the CSU researchers’ experiments. Credit: Kota lab/Colorado State University


In cases where a body does reject a medical implant, the patient’s immune system detects the foreign object and mounts a defense against it, which can lead to serious inflammation and other complications. The real trick to the team’s surface is that the body doesn’t even recognize that it’s there. According to Arun Kota, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering at CSU, “We are taking a material that blood hates to come in contact with, in order to make it compatible with blood.”

Regarding clotting, patients with medical implants often need to stay on a regimen of blood-thinning drugs to decrease the risk. However, blood thinners are not guaranteed to work, and they also carry the risk of leading to excessive bleeding due to the prevention of even beneficial clotting near wounds. As Ketul Popat, associate professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering at CSU explains, “The reason blood clots is because it finds cells in the blood to go to and attach.” He continues, “if we can design materials where blood barely contacts the surface, there is virtually no chance of clotting.”

This material is only in its earliest stages of development. Should the team’s findings hold up to further scrutinization, these life-saving medical devices could be given an unprecedented boost in safety.

An electric car battery that could charge in just five minutes ~ Where is the Israeli Start-Up “+StoreDot” One Year Later? +Video

An Israeli startup is setting its sights on creating a battery for electric carsthat charges in just five minutes. If they meet their goal, the battery would be able to power a car for hundreds of miles in a single charge. StoreDot, founded in 2012, has already developed the FlashBattery for Smartphones that can fully charge in less than a minute. The startup has raised $66 million which it plans to use to get their FlashBattery technology into electric cars.

The relatively slow growth of the electric car market is often blamed upon the inconvenience of recharging. The best batteries currently available can last up to 250 miles, but take several hours to fully charge using a standard charger. Tesla’s high-speed charger takes 30 minutes to give their batteries about 170 miles of range, while Toyota’s Rav4, which takes longer to charge, can only go around 100 miles per charge. A fast-charging, affordable battery with long range, like the one StoreDot has proposed, could be the key to making electric cars more popular than their gas-powered competitors.

Related: The world’s fastest charging electric bus powers up in 10 seconds flat


StoreDot describes their battery as a sponge, which soaks up electricity like a sponge soaks up water. The technology is based on peptides that have been turned into energy-storing nanotubes. The nanotubes, affectionately named Nanodots by the company, can soak up huge amounts of electricity all at once. Using around 7,000 of these Nanodots, they have promised to create an EV battery that goes the distance.

EV batteries, electric cars, electric car batteries, fast-charging batteries, StoreDot, Israel technology, lithium-ion, green technology, green cars

“This fast-charging technology shortens the amount of time drivers will have to wait in line to charge their cars, while also reducing the number of charging posts in each station,” Dr. Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot’s CEO told crowds at the 2014 ThinkNext event. It will result in “considerably cutting the overall cost of owning an electric car.”

For the Latest News About +StoreDot Go to: +StoreDot

University of California – San Diego:”Teeny-Tiny” Nanotubes Enhance and Upgrade Implant Technology

Operator in factory use microscope

Operator in factory use microscope

Nanotube Surface Technology

The nanotube surface treatment evolved from solar panel research by various groups and biomaterials research by Sungho Jin, PhD at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Others, including Amit Bandyopadhyay, PhD and collaborating researchers at Washington State University (WSU), and Masa Ishigami, PhD’s team at the University of Central Florida (UCF), have helped to enhance the technology. Established companies specializing in medical implant surface treatments have helped to scale and commercialize the technology.

It is hard to imagine just how tiny nanotubes are compared to traditional implant surface structures. They are thousands of times smaller than traditional porous structures on implants or even cells. Millions of nanotubes form a surface texture and energy that interacts with the outer membrane of a cell wall. These arrays of millions of nanotubes per square millimeter can be formed onto flat or porous structures.

Nanotubes are not an additive coating. They are formed into the existing metal oxide tissue-contacting surface of implants. Titanium, tantalum, and zirconium metals and alloy implants are directly treated with an anodization process to form the nanotubes. Implants made from other materials such as PEEK, medical polymers, ceramics and CoCrMo are indirectly treated by first applying a thin layer of titanium that is then processed by a similar patented anodization technique to form nanotubes on its surface.

Any implant surface that requires stable fixation against bone such as a hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, hand, or spinal implant can be enhanced by nanotubes.

How does it work?

  • It mimics the stem cells around the implant into thinking that the surface of the implant is actually another cell.
  • The super-absorbent, ultra-hydrophilic surface enhances tissue cell attachment.
  • The cell then spreads and branches out on the implant surface.
  • The stem cell differentiates to match the cells that are around the nanotube surface.
  • If around bone cells, Osteoblasts form and the mineralization process begins.
  • If near cartilage, chondrocyte cells form starting cartilage regeneration


“In Vivo studies have shown that titanium implants that have nanotubes on them have a nine times greater osseointegration bond strength as compared to implants that don’t. We also see faster cell differentiation—the bonding happens weeks faster than it would without nanotubes. We’re interested in allowing patients to walk on or fully use their implants faster. We’re trying to speed that up not by days, but by weeks and perhaps months”

Sungho Jin, PhD

Berkeley: Nature-Inspired Nanotubes That Assemble Themselves, With Precision

Berleley nanotube 050316

When it comes to the various nanowidgets scientists are developing, nanotubes are especially intriguing. That’s because hollow tubes that have diameters of only a few billionths of a meter have the potential to be incredibly useful, from delivering cancer-fighting drugs inside cells to desalinating seawater.

But building nanostructures is difficult. And creating a large quantity of nanostructures with the same trait, such as millions of nanotubes with identical diameters, is even more difficult. This kind of precision manufacturing is needed to create the nanotechnologies of tomorrow.

Help could be on the way. As reported online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a family of nature-inspired polymers that, when placed in water, spontaneously assemble into hollow crystalline nanotubes. What’s more, the nanotubes can be tuned to all have the same diameter of between five and ten nanometers, depending on the length of the polymer chain.

The polymers have two chemically distinct blocks that are the same size and shape. The scientists learned these blocks act like molecular tiles that form rings, which stack together to form nanotubes up to 100 nanometers long, all with the same diameter.

“This points to a new way we can use synthetic polymers to create complex nanostructures in a very precise way,” says Ron Zuckermann, who directs the Biological Nanostructures Facility in Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, where much of this research was conducted.

Several other Berkeley Lab scientists contributed to this research, including Nitash Balsara of the Materials Sciences Division and Ken Downing of the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division.

“Creating uniform structures in high yield is a goal in nanotechnology,” adds Zuckermann. “For example, if you can control the diameter of nanotubes, and the chemical groups exposed in their interior, then you can control what goes through—which could lead to new filtration and desalination technologies, to name a few examples.”

The research is the latest in the effort to build nanostructures that approach the complexity and function of nature’s proteins, but are made of durable materials. In this work, the Berkeley Lab scientists studied a polymer that is a member of the peptoid family. Peptoids are rugged synthetic polymers that mimic peptides, which nature uses to form proteins. They can be tuned at the atomic scale to carry out specific functions.

For the past several years, the scientists have studied a particular type of peptoid, called a diblock copolypeptoid, because it binds with lithium ions and could be used as a battery electrolyte. Along the way, they serendipitously found the compounds form nanotubes in water. How exactly these nanotubes form has yet to be determined, but this latest research sheds light on their structure, and hints at a new design principle that could be used to build nanotubes and other complex nanostructures.

This cryo-electron microscopy image shows the self-assembling nanotubes have the same diameter. The circles are head-on views of nanotubes. The dark-striped features likely result from crystallized peptoid blocks. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

Diblock copolypeptoids are composed of two peptoid blocks, one that’s hydrophobic one that’s hydrophilic. The scientists discovered both blocks crystallize when they meet in water, and form rings consisting of two to three individual peptoids. The rings then form hollow nanotubes.

Cryo-electron microscopy imaging of 50 of the nanotubes showed the diameter of each tube is highly uniform along its length, as well as from tube to tube. This analysis also revealed a striped pattern across the width of the nanotubes, which indicates the rings stack together to form tubes, and rules out other packing arrangements. In addition, the peptoids are thought to arrange themselves in a brick-like pattern, with hydrophobic blocks lining up with other hydrophobic blocks, and the same for hydrophilic blocks.

“Images of the tubes captured by electron microscopy were essential for establishing the presence of this unusual structure,” says Balsara. “The formation of tubular structures with a hydrophobic core is common for synthetic polymers dispersed in water, so we were quite surprised to see the formation of hollow tubes without a hydrophobic core.”

X-ray scattering analyses conducted at beamline 7.3.3 of the Advanced Light Source revealed even more about the nanotubes’ structure. For example, it showed that one of the peptoid blocks, which is usually amorphous, is actually crystalline.

Remarkably, the nanotubes assemble themselves without the usual nano-construction aids, such as electrostatic interactions or hydrogen bond networks.

“You wouldn’t expect something as intricate as this could be created without these crutches,” says Zuckermann. “But it turns out the chemical interactions that hold the nanotubes together are very simple. What’s special here is that the two peptoid blocks are chemically distinct, yet almost exactly the same size, which allows the chains to pack together in a very regular way. These insights could help us design useful nanotubes and other structures that are rugged and tunable—and which have uniform structures.”

The Advanced Light Source and the Molecular Foundry are DOE Office of Science User Facilities located at Berkeley Lab.

The research was supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

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‘On-Demand ‘ Nanotube Forests’ for Electronics Fabrication

Nanotube Forrests 042116 id43200A system that uses a laser and electrical current to precisely position and align carbon nanotubes represents a potential new tool for creating electronic devices out of the tiny fibers.

Because carbon nanotubes have unique thermal and electrical properties, they may have future applications in electronic cooling and as devices in microchips, sensors and circuits. Being able to orient the carbon nanotubes in the same direction and precisely position them could allow these nanostructures to be used in such applications.

However, it is difficult to manipulate something so small that thousands of them would fit within the diameter of a single strand of hair, said Steven T. Wereley, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University.
“One of the things we can do with this technique is assemble carbon nanotubes, put them where we want and make them into complicated structures,” he said.


This graphic illustrates a system that uses a laser and electrical field to precisely position and align carbon nanotube
This graphic illustrates a system that uses a laser and electrical field to precisely position and align carbon nanotubes, representing a potential new tool for assembling sensors and devices out of the tiny nanotubes and nanowires. The two microscope images at the bottom show the nanotubes aligned (left) and returning to their random orientation after the electric field and laser were turned off. (Image: Avanish Mishra and Steven Wereley)
New findings from research led by Purdue doctoral student Avanish Mishra are detailed in a paper that has appeared online March 24 in the journal Microsystems and Nanoengineering (“Dynamic optoelectric trapping and deposition of multiwalled carbon nanotubes”).
The technique, called rapid electrokinetic patterning (REP), uses two parallel electrodes made of indium tin oxide, a transparent and electrically conductive material. The nanotubes are arranged randomly while suspended in deionized water. Applying an electric field causes them to orient vertically. Then an infrared laser heats the fluid, producing a doughnut-shaped vortex of circulating liquid between the two electrodes. This vortex enables the researchers to move the nanotubes and reposition them.
“When we apply the electric field, they are immediately oriented vertically, and then when we apply the laser, it starts a vortex, that sweeps them into little nanotube forests,” Wereley said.
The research paper was authored by Mishra; Purdue graduate student Katherine Clayton; University of Louisville student Vanessa Velasco; Stuart J. Williams, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Louisville and director of the Integrated Microfluidic Systems Laboratory; and Wereley. Williams is a former doctoral student at Purdue.
The technique overcomes limitations of other methods for manipulating particles measured on the scale of nanometers, or billionths of a meter. In this study, the procedure was used for multiwalled carbon nanotubes, which are rolled-up ultrathin sheets of carbon called graphene. However, according to the researchers, using this technique other nanoparticles such as nanowires and nanorods can be similarly positioned and fixed in vertical orientation.
The researchers have received a U.S. patent on the system.
The experimental work was performed at the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue’s Discovery Park. Future research will explore using the technique to create devices.
Source: By Emil Venere, Purdue University


Better fighter planes, space shuttles on the way, thanks to new research


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A team of scientists led by Changhong Ke, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Binghamton University’s Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, and researcher Xiaoming Chen were the first to determine the interface strength between boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) and epoxy and other polymers.

“We think that this could be the first step in a process that changes the way we design and make materials that affect the future of travel on this planet and exploration of other worlds beyond our own,” said Ke. “Those materials may be way off still, but someone needed to take the first step, and we have.”


Better Shuttles from Nanoparticles 160104163702_1_540x360

Ke’s group found that BNNTs in polymethyl metacrylate (PMMA) form much stronger interfaces than comparable carbon tubes with the same polymer. Furthermore, BNNT-epoxy interfaces are even stronger. A stronger interface means that a larger load can be transferred from the polymer to nanotubes, a critical characteristic for superior mechanical performance of composite materials. Future airplane wings and spacecraft hulls built of those BNNT composite materials could be lighter and more fuel efficient, while maintaining the strength needed to withstand the rigors of flight.

Since nanotube wall thickness and diameters are measured in billionths of a meter, Ke and Chen extracted single BNNTs from a piece of epoxy and then repeated the process with PMMA inside an electron microscope. Their conclusions were based on the amount of force needed to do the extractions. This was the first time that BNNTs –more chemically and thermally stable than the more common carbon nanotubes (CNTs) –were in this kind of experiment. BNNTs can shield space radiation better than CNTs, which would make them an ideal building material for spacecraft.

“They are both light and strong,” Ke said of the two kinds of tubes. “They have similar mechanical properties, but different electrical properties. Those differences help to add strength to the BNNT interfaces with the polymers.”

Metaphorically, think of the epoxy or other polymer materials with the BNNT nanotubes inside like a piece of reinforced concrete. That concrete gets much of its strength from the makeup of the steel rebar and cement; the dispersion of rebar within the cement; the alignment of rebar within the cement; and “stickiness” of the connection between the rebar and the surrounding cement. The scientists essentially measured the “stickiness” of a single nanotube ‘rebar’ — helped by molecular and electrostatic interactions — by removing it from polymer “cement.”

The work was funded by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research — Low Density Materials program, with materials provided by NASA. Co-authors Xianqiao Wang and graduate student Liuyang Zhang from the University of Georgia provided verification and explanation data through computational simulations after the experiments were conducted in Binghamton.

Catharine Fay from the NASA Langley Research Center and Cheol Park of the Center and the University of Virginia are co-authors on the paper.

In September, Ke and his collaborators received three years of additional funding totaling $815,000 from the Air Force to continue research.

The paper, “Mechanical Strength of Boron Nitride Nanotube-Polymer Interfaces,” was published in the latest issue of Applied Physics Letters.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Binghamton University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Xiaoming Chen, Liuyang Zhang, Cheol Park, Catharine C. Fay, Xianqiao Wang, Changhong Ke. Mechanical strength of boron nitride nanotube-polymer interfaces. Applied Physics Letters, 2015; 107 (25): 253105 DOI: 10.1063/1.4936755

Nanowires: Major Building-block for Nanotechnology Devices: Transistors, Solar Cells, Lasers and More

By Michael Berger. Copyright © Nanowerk

201306047919620(Nanowerk Spotlight) Nanowires are considered a major  building block for future nanotechnology devices, with great potential for  applications in transistors, solar cells, lasers, sensors, etc.


*** Read articles explaining how ‘nanowires and nanotubes’ differ from other quantum materials, such as quantum dots, and their potential applications here:


Now, for the first time, nanotechnology researchers have  utilized nanowires as a ‘storage’ device for biochemical species such as ATP.   Led by Seunghun Hong, a professor of physics, biophysics and chemical  biology at Seoul National University, the team developed a new nanowire  structure – which they named ‘nano-storage wire’ – which can store and release  biomolecules.

Reporting their findings in the July 16, 2013 online edition of  ACS Nano (“Nano-Storage Wires”), Hong’s group demonstrated  that their nano-storage wire structure can be deposited onto virtually any  substrate to build nanostorage devices for the real-time controlled release of  biochemical molecules upon the application of electrical stimuli.

“Our nano-storage wires are multisegmented nanowires comprised  of three segments and each segment plays a role in extending the applications of  the nanowire,” Hong explains to Nanowerk: “1) the conducting polymer segment  stores biomolecules; 2) the nickel segment allows the utilization of magnetic  fields to drive the nanowires and place them onto a specific location for device  applications; and 3) the gold segment enables a good electrical contact between  the deposited nano-storage wires and the electrodes. The polymer segment is  utilized for the controlled release of ATP molecules. The nickel segment enables  the magnetic localization of nano-storage wires, while the gold segment provides  a good electrical contact with electrodes.”

  nano-storage wire Left:  Schematics of a nano-storage wire. Right: SEM image of a single nano-storage  wire. The dark, intermediate, and bright regions represent PPy-ATP (conducting  polymer with ATP molecules), nickel, and gold segments, respectively. (Images:  Dr. Seunghun Hong, Seoul National University)   

The released biomolecules from such a nanowire-storage system  can be used for instance to control the activity of biosystems. As a proof of  concept, the researchers stored ATP in their nano-storage wires and released it  by electrical stimuli, which activated the motion of motor protein systems.   The team also demonstrated flexible nanostorage devices. Here,  nano-storage wires were driven by magnetic fields and deposited onto nickel/gold  films on a transparent and flexible polyimide film. The device transmitted some  light, and it can be easily bent.   They also showed that the nanowires could be deposited onto  curved surfaces such as the sharp end of a micropipet.

nano-storage wires deposited on tip of a micropipette

SEM  image of nano-storage wires deposited on a micropipet. (Reprinted with  permission from American Chemical Society)   

“Such probe-shaped storage devices can be used for the delivery  of chemicals to individual cells through a direct injection,” says Hong.  “Basically, our results show that nano-storage wires are quite versatile  structures and we can deposit them onto virtually any structure to create  nanoscale devices for the controlled release of biochemical materials.”   “Nano-storage wires will allow the fabrication of advanced  biochips which can activate or deactivate the activities of biosystems in real  time,” Hong points out. “The activation and deactivation of biosystems such as  biomotors, are controlled by specific biomolecules.

In our method, we can  selectively control the biomolecular activities related with ATP or any released  chemical species while leaving other biomolecular activities unaltered.”   Having demonstrated the storage of ATP, the team is now planning  to store other biomolecules in our nano-storage wires. Examples are drugs to  control the activity of cells and tissues, enzymes to activate specific signal  pathways in biosystems etc.   “Eventually, we would like to build an advanced biochip which  can be utilized to control the activities of desired biosystems in real-time,”  says Hong.

By Michael Berger. Copyright © Nanowerk

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