During the last two decades, numerous surface treatments have been developed to improve the biocompatibility of different types of prosthesis and other medical implants. Some of these devices are subject to demanding loading and friction conditions (e.g., hip, knee, and spine prosthesis). However, for other implants, there are more specific requirements as it happens for coronary stents or pacemaker electrodes. The materials used for the manufacture of the aforementioned devices are subjected to very high restrictions in terms of biocompatibility, in particular on chemical composition, corrosion resistance, or ion release. As a consequence, most of prosthesis and other implants are made of a limited number of materials such as titanium alloys, stainless steels, cobalt-chromium alloys, UHMWPE, or PEEK. Unfortunately, from a strict point of view, none of these materials meet all the requirements that would be desirable in terms of durability and prevention of infections and inflammatory processes. Coatings and other surface treatments have been developed to solve these problems and to improve biocompatibility. In this chapter, we present an updated review of the most used surface engineering technologies for biomaterials, like novel PVD coatings, ion implantation, and other plasma spray treatments, as well as a critical review of the characterization techniques. This study is completed with an insight into the future of the field.
Part of the book: Advanced Surface Engineering Research
The development of surface engineering techniques to tune-up the composition, structure, and function of materials surfaces is a permanent challenge for the scientific community. In this chapter, the electrospinning process is proposed as a versatile technique for the development of highly hydrophobic or even superhydrophobic surfaces. Electrospinning makes possible the fabrication of nanostructured ultra-thin fibers, denoted as electrospun nanofibers (ENFs), from a wide range of polymeric materials that can be deposited on any type of surface with arbitrary geometry. In addition, by tuning the deposition parameters (mostly applied voltage, flow rate, and distance between collector/needle) in combination with the chemical structure of the polymeric precursor (functional groups with hydrophobic behavior) and its resultant viscosity, it is possible to obtain nanofibers with highly porous surface. As a result, functionalized surfaces with water-repellent behavior can be implemented in a wide variety of industrial applications such as in corrosion resistance, high efficient water-oil separation, surgical meshes in biomedical applications, or even in energy systems for long-term efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells, among others.
Part of the book: 21st Century Surface Science