Lifespan of implantable medical devices could be increased substantially through new coating tech

Researchers have announced that they have come up with a new coating technology that could increase the lifespan of implantable medical devices substantially and also reduce the tissue damage as well as inhibit inflammatory response

The new coating technology involves a method for creating a thin and uniform coating of a monolayer and lubricating oil on the surface of the implantable devices. Such a coating minimizes tissue damage by reducing the friction between a device and tissues, which is generated when the device is implanted into the human body. In addition, coated devices exhibit the anti-bioadhesion property, i.e., the prevention of the adhesion of immune cells activated by the immune rejection response to the device surface.

The research team from Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) working with the Brain Science Institute, led by Dr. Il-Joo Cho, and the research team at Yonsei University developed a lubricant-coated neural probe with 32 electrodes for measuring brain signals, and they showed the reduction of immune responses through in-vivo experiments.

The probe they used was coated by employing the developed technology and implanted into the rodent brain. Brain signals were successfully observed from over 90% of the electrodes immediately after implantation. The number of signals was twice that obtained using uncoated neural probes.

Furthermore, the observation of brain tissues confirmed that the tissue damage that generally occurs during implantation was minimized. The signal amplitude of uncoated probes reduced over time owing to the adhesion of immune cells to the probe surface. In contrast, the coated probe exhibited the anti-bioadhesion property. It stably measured brain signals for four months, which was four times the lifespan of uncoated probes.

Dr. Cho and Dr. Seo stated that “the developed coating technology can be applied to human implantable devices for not only the brain but also other parts of the body and the technology can significantly extend the lifespan of such devices.” Moreover, they mentioned that “this technology is also expected to contribute to faster commercialization by considerably extending the replacement cycle of human implantable medical devices.”

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