There has been unprecedented development in tissue engineering (TE) over the last few years owing to its potential applications, particularly in bone reconstruction or regeneration. In this article, we illustrate several advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to the design of electrospun TE scaffolds. We also review the major benefits of electrospun fibers for three-dimensional scaffolds in hard connective TE applications and identify the key strategies that can improve the mechanical properties of scaffolds for bone TE applications. A few interesting results of recent investigations have been explained for future trends in TE scaffold research.
Diamond-like carbon (DLC) material is used in blood contacting devices as the surface coating material because of the antithrombogenicity behavior which helps to inhibit platelet adhesion and activation. In this study, DLC films were doped with boron during pulsed plasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to improve the blood compatibility. The ratio of boron to carbon (B/C) was varied from 0 to 0.4 in the film by adjusting the flow rate of trimethylboron and acetylene. Tribological tests indicated that boron doping with a low B/C ratio of 0.03 is beneficial for reducing friction (μ = 0.1), lowering hardness and slightly increasing wear rate compared to undoped DLC films. The B/C ratio in the film of 0.03 and 0.4 exhibited highly hydrophilic surface owing to their high wettability and high surface energy. An in vitro platelet adhesion experiment was conducted to compare the blood compatibility of TiNb substrates before and after coating with undoped and boron doped DLC. Films with highly hydrophilic surface enhanced the blood compatibility of TiNb, and the best results were obtained for DLC with the B/C ratio of 0.03. Boron doped DLC films are promising surface coatings for blood contacting devices.
Cardiovascular disease claims millions of lives every year throughout the world. Biomaterials are used widely for the treatment of this fatal disease. With the advent of nanotechnology, the use of nanocomposites has become almost inevitable in the field of biomaterials. The versatile properties of nanocomposites, such as improved durability and biocompatibility, make them an ideal choice for various biomedical applications. Among the various nanocomposites, polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane-poly(carbonate-urea)urethane, bacterial cellulose with polyvinyl alcohol, carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide and nano-hydroxyapatite nanocomposites have gained popularity as putative choices for biomaterials in cardiovascular applications owing to their superior properties. In this review, various studies performed utilizing these nanocomposites for improving the mechanical strength, anti-calcification potential and hemocompatibility of heart valves are reviewed and summarized. The primary motive of this work is to shed light on the emerging nanocomposites for heart valve applications. Furthermore, we aim to promote the prospects of these nanocomposites in the campaign against cardiovascular diseases.
In this work, the thermal stability and the oxidation and tribological behavior of nanoporous a-BC:H films are studied and compared with those in conventional diamond-like carbon (DLC) films. a-BC:H films were deposited by pulsed plasma chemical vapor deposition using B(CH3)3 gas as the boron source. A DLC interlayer was used to prevent the a-BC:H film delamination produced by oxidation. Thermal stability of a-BC:H films, with no delamination signs after annealing at 500 °C for 1 h, is better than that of the DLC films, which completely disappeared under the same conditions. Tribological test results indicate that the a-BC:H films, even with lower nanoindentation hardness than the DLC films, show an excellent boundary oil lubricated behavior, with lower friction coefficient and reduce the wear rate of counter materials than those on the DLC film. The good materials properties such as low modulus of elasticity and the formation of micropores from the original nanopores during boundary regimes explain this better performance. Results show that porous a-BC:H films may be an alternative for segmented DLC films in applications where severe tribological conditions and complex shapes exist, so surface patterning is unfeasible.
Osteoarthritis-oriented synovial fluid (OASF), i.e., that typical of a patient with osteoarthritis, has different physical and biological characteristics than bovine serum (BS), a lubricant widely used in biotribological investigations. Micro-dimpled and diamond-like carbon- (DLC) coated surfaces are key emerging interfaces for orthopedic implants. In this study, tribological performances of dimpled surfaces, with and without DLC coating, have been investigated under both BS and OASF. The friction tests were performed utilizing a pin on a disk tribometer, whereas contact pressure, speed, and temperature were simulated to a 'medium walking gait' of hip joint conditions. The mechanical properties of the specimen and the physical properties of the lubricant were characterized before the friction test. Raman analysis was conducted to identify the coating condition both before and after the test. The DLC-coated dimpled surface showed maximum hardness and residual stress. A DLC-coated dimpled surface under an OASF lubricated condition yielded a lower friction coefficient and wear compared to those of plain and dimpled specimens. The higher graphitization of coated materials with increasing load was confirmed by Raman spectroscopy.
Nanocomposite lead-free solders are gaining prominence as replacements for conventional lead-free solders such as Sn-Ag-Cu solder in the electronic packaging industry. They are fabricated by adding nanoparticles such as metallic and ceramic particles into conventional lead-free solder. It is reported that the addition of such nanoparticles could strengthen the solder matrix, refine the intermetallic compounds (IMCs) formed and suppress the growth of IMCs when the joint is subjected to different thermal conditions such as thermal aging and thermal cycling. In this paper, we first review the fundamental studies on the formation and growth of IMCs in lead-free solder joints. Subsequently, we discuss the effect of the addition of nanoparticles on IMC formation and their growth under several thermal conditions. Finally, an outlook on the future growth of research in the fabrication of nanocomposite solder is provided.
The concentration of biological components of synovial fluid (such as albumin, globulin, hyaluronic acid, and lubricin) varies between healthy persons and osteoarthritis (OA) patients. The aim of the present study is to compare the effects of such variation on tribological performance in a simulated hip joint model. The study was carried out experimentally by utilizing a pin-on-disk simulator on ceramic-on-ceramic (CoC) and ceramic-on-polyethylene (CoP) hip joint implants. The experimental results show that both friction and wear of artificial joints fluctuate with the concentration level of biological components. Moreover, the performance also varies between material combinations. Wear debris sizes and shapes produced by ceramic and polyethylene were diverse. We conclude that the biological components of synovial fluid and their concentrations should be considered in order to select an artificial hip joint to best suit that patient.
Since most starting materials for tissue engineering are in powder form, using powder-based additive manufacturing methods is attractive and practical. The principal point of employing additive manufacturing (AM) systems is to fabricate parts with arbitrary geometrical complexity with relatively minimal tooling cost and time. Selective laser sintering (SLS) and inkjet 3D printing (3DP) are two powerful and versatile AM techniques which are applicable to powder-based material systems. Hence, the latest state of knowledge available on the use of AM powder-based techniques in tissue engineering and their effect on mechanical and biological properties of fabricated tissues and scaffolds must be updated. Determining the effective setup of parameters, developing improved biocompatible/bioactive materials, and improving the mechanical/biological properties of laser sintered and 3D printed tissues are the three main concerns which have been investigated in this article.
Coatings such as diamond-like carbon (DLC) and titanium nitride (TiN) are employed in joint implants due to their excellent tribological properties. Recently, graphite-like carbon (GLC) and tantalum (Ta) have been proven to have good potential as coating as they possess mechanical properties similar to bones-high hardness and high flexibility. The purpose of this systematic literature review is to summarize the coating techniques of these four materials in order to compare their mechanical properties and tribological outcomes. Eighteen studies published between January 2000 and February 2013 have met the inclusion criteria for this review. Details of their fabrication parameters, material and mechanical properties along with the tribological outcomes, such as friction and wear rate, were identified and are presented in a systematic way. Although experiment conditions varied, we conclude that Ta has the lowest wear rate compared to DLC, GLC and TiN because it has a lower wear rate with high contact pressure as well as higher hardness to elasticity ratio. However, a further tribology test is needed in an environment which replicates artificial joints to confirm the acceptability of these findings.
The blue phase liquid crystal (BPLC) is a highly ordered liquid crystal (LC) phase found very close to the LC-isotropic transition. The BPLC has demonstrated potential in next-generation display and photonic technology due to its exceptional properties such as sub-millisecond response time and wide viewing angle. However, BPLC is stable in a very small temperature range (0.5-1 °C) and its driving voltage is very high (∼100 V). To overcome these challenges recent research has focused on solutions which incorporate polymers or nanoparticles into the blue phase to widen the temperature range from around few °C to potentially more than 60 °C. In order to reduce the driving voltage, strategies have been attempted by modifying the device structure by introducing protrusion or corrugated electrodes and vertical field switching mechanism has been proposed. In this paper the effectiveness of the proposed solution will be discussed, in order to assess the potential of BPLC in display technology and beyond.
Native cartilage matrix derived (CMD) scaffolds from various animal and human sources have drawn attention in cartilage tissue engineering due to the demonstrable presence of bioactive components. Different chemical and physical treatments have been employed to enhance the micro-architecture of CMD scaffolds. In this study we have assessed the typical effects of physical cross-linking methods, namely ultraviolet (UV) light, dehydrothermal (DHT) treatment, and combinations of them on bovine articular CMD porous scaffolds with three different matrix concentrations (5%, 15% and 30%) to assess the relative strengths of each treatment. Our findings suggest that UV and UV-DHT treatments on 15% CMD scaffolds can yield architecturally optimal scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering.
The high performance and downsizing technology of three-dimensional integrated circuits (3D-ICs) for mobile consumer electronic products have gained much attention in the microelectronics industry. This has been driven by the utilization of chip stacking by through-Si-via and solder microbumps. Pb-free solder microbumps are intended to replace conventional Pb-containing solder joints due to the rising awareness of environmental preservation. The use of low-volume solder microbumps has led to crucial constraints that cause several reliability issues, including excessive intermetallic compounds (IMCs) formation and solder microbump embrittlement due to IMCs growth. This article reviews technologies related to 3D-ICs, IMCs formation mechanisms and reliability issues concerning IMCs with Pb-free solder microbumps. Finally, future outlook on the potential growth of research in this area is discussed.
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.