Today about 90% of all heart valves are made by pyrolytic carbon. Dedicated studies have shown that pyrolytic carbon gives rise to blood clotting which can lead to thrombosis, strokes, etc. These problems are solved in hospitals by introducing blood-diluting drugs into the patients blood for the rest of his life. Due to the brittleness and fragileness the design of the heart valve is limited by the process of manufacturing. Thus, for a heart valve construction pyrolytic carbon seems not to be the best solution. The RTD goals in this project are to develop TiN and diamond like carbon coated materials on heart valve implants made of titanium for enhanced biocompatibility and optimised heart valve construction. The research project includes optimising the quality of coating materials with respect to adhesion, hardness, ductibility, density, composition and structure. Relevance to medical implants consists of improved tribological characteristics, improved corrosion resistance, optimised biocompatibility and improved thrombogenisity. The project involves high quality coating techniques, reactive magnetron sputtering deposition combined with high current ion bombardment, to improve wear performance and biological response of the medical products. Medical research institutes will be involved to perform both in vivo and in vitro biocompatible studies before clinical tests can be carried out. The new products will induce higher product quality, environmental friendly products, process implementation of new basic technologies and better economics of scale. The life-quality of sick, elderly and handicapped people will also be improved because of a more body-like material such as the actual coatings, and possibility of a better design of the heart valves and improved wear resistant compared to materials used today.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards
ML4 3NJ Bellshill
183 62 Täby