Tuesday, 11 Nov, 2008 Science

Scientists Developed Nanomaterial Which Could be Used to Create Implantable Devices


A group of scientists from the North Caroline State University were able to discovered that the unique properties of new nanomaterial could be use to make new devices, which could be implanted into the human body. The breakthrough may lead to the creation of blood glucose sensors for people suffering from diabetes and synthetic hemo-dialysis membranes, which would clean impurities from the blood.

For a long period of time scientists made attempts to develop sensors that could be implanted in human body for different reasons, such as, for example, to control the level of glucose in the blood for patients suffering from diabetes. Currently, however, scientists face problems with using already existing materials. They say that in order for a device, such as the one that controls glucose levels, to be implanted, the material, from which the device is supposed to be made of, has to prevent proteins inside the human body from building up sensors; otherwise they could prevent sensors from working correctly. Besides, each implant must not cause inflammatory response from the body, which could reject the device.

Researchers managed to discover the properties of nanoporous ceramic membranes, claiming that with its help they will be able to avoid problems related to body's rejection of implants. The lead researcher, Dr. Roger Narayan, who is also an associate professor in the joint biomedical engineering department of NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, mentioned that nanoporous membranes might be applied to develop an "interface between human tissues and medical devices that is free of protein buildup."

The latest study was published in the exclusive issue of "Biomedical Materials." This is the first detailed research of the biological and physical features of the nanoporous ceramic membrane. Scientists claim that human body will not reject the nanomaterial. The lead researcher mentioned that their breakthrough is a huge step towards the development of kidney dialysis membranes, as well as a number of other devices, which previously reported cases of incompatibility with human tissue.

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