Stents are cardiovascular devices used to treat atherosclerosis, and are deployed into narrowed arteries and implanted by expansion to reopen the biological lumen. Nevertheless, complications after implantation are still observed in 10-14% of the implantations. Therefore, functionalizing these devices with active molecules to improve the interfacial effects with the surrounding tissue strongly impacts their success. A plasma-based procedure to directly graft biomolecules to the surface of cobalt chromium alloys, without any polymeric coating, has been recently reported. Assuring the stability of the coating during plastic deformation generated during the implantation whilst avoiding the corrosion of the surface is crucial. This study explores different surface treatments to be used as a pre-treatment for this novel procedure. The effects of (i) electropolishing, (ii) thermal treatments, and (iii) the plasma immersion ion implantation of oxygen on the chemical composition, roughness, wettability and efficiency during the plasma-amination procedure whilst avoiding cracks after deformation, thus maintaining corrosion resistant behaviour, were investigated by XPS, AFM, ToF-SIMS imaging and depth profile, and WCA. Furthermore, the hemocompatibility of the surface and cell viability assays were also performed. Results showed that all of the treatments created a different surface chemical composition: EP mainly of chromium oxide, PIII with a layer of cobalt oxide and TT with a mixture of oxides, as observed by XPS and ToF-SIMS. Moreover, EP was the process that generated a surface with the highest efficiency to amination and the most corrosion resistance among the treatments, and it appeared as the most suitable pre-treatment for stent functionalization.
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Technological Platform Synthesis, Irradiation and Analysis of Materials
Facility/equipment: Technological Platform