The recent interest to nanotechnology aims not only at device miniaturisation, but also at understanding the effects of quantised structure in materials of reduced dimensions, which exhibit different properties from their bulk counterparts. In particular, quantised metal nanowires made of silver, gold or copper have attracted much attention owing to their unique intrinsic and extrinsic length-dependent mechanical properties. Here we review the current state of art and developments in these nanowires from synthesis to mechanical properties, which make them leading contenders for next-generation nanoelectromechanical systems. We also present theories of interatomic interaction in metallic nanowires, as well as challenges in their synthesis and simulation.
With the long-term goal of developing an ultra-sensitive microcantilever-based biosensor for versatile biomarker detection, new controlled bioreceptor-analytes systems are being explored to overcome the disadvantages of conventional ones. Gold (Au) microwires have been used as a probe to overcome the tolerance problem that occurs in response to changes in environmental conditions. However, the cytotoxicity of Au microwires is still unclear. Here, we examined the cytotoxicity of Au microwires systems using both commercial and as-synthesised Au microwires. In vitro experiments show that commercial Au microwires with an average quoted length of 5.6 µm are highly toxic against Gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli) at 50 µg/mL. However, this toxicity is due to the presence of CTAB surfactant not by the microwires. Conversely, the as-synthesised Au microwires show non-cytotoxicity even at the maximum viable concentration (330 µg/mL). These findings may lead to the development of potentially life-saving cytotoxicity-free biosensors for an early diagnostic of potential diseases.
Corrosion prevention in biomaterials has become crucial particularly to overcome inflammation and allergic reactions caused by the biomaterials' implants towards the human body. When these metal implants contacted with fluidic environments such as bloodstream and tissue of the body, most of them became mutually highly antagonistic and subsequently promotes corrosion. Biocompatible implants are typically made up of metallic, ceramic, composite and polymers. The present paper specifically focuses on biocompatible metals which favorably used as implants such as 316L stainless steel, cobalt-chromium-molybdenum, pure titanium and titanium-based alloys. This article also takes a close look at the effect of corrosion towards the implant and human body and the mechanism to improve it. Due to this corrosion delinquent, several surface modification techniques have been used to improve the corrosion behavior of biocompatible metals such as deposition of the coating, development of passivation oxide layer and ion beam surface modification. Apart from that, surface texturing methods such as plasma spraying, chemical etching, blasting, electropolishing, and laser treatment which used to improve corrosion behavior are also discussed in detail. Introduction of surface modifications to biocompatible metals is considered as a "best solution" so far to enhanced corrosion resistance performance; besides achieving superior biocompatibility and promoting osseointegration of biocompatible metals and alloys.