Coating could help prevent blood clots associated with implanted biomedical devices

by Matthew Chin

A team of researchers from UCLA and the University of Michigan has developed a material that could help prevent blood clots associated with catheters, heart valves, vascular grafts and other implanted biomedical devices.

Blood clots at or near implanted devices are thought to occur when the flow of , a naturally occurring clot-preventing agent generated in the blood vessels, is cut off. When this occurs, the devices can fail.

Some researchers have sought to solve this problem with that gradually release nitric oxide, but their supply of the agent is necessarily limited. Instead, the UCLA–Michigan team focused on an ultra-thin coating for the devices that acts as a chemical catalyst, generating clot-preventing molecules that can mimic the function of .

The researchers suggest this could offer a long-lasting and cost-effective solution to the problem of these . The study was published online this month in the journal Nature Communications.

For the device coating, the team used sheets of graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of graphitic carbon, into which they integrated two components—haemin and glucose oxidase. Both work synergistically to catalyze the production of nitroxyl, which can be used inside the blood like nitric oxide, although it contains one less electron. Nitroxyl has been reported as being analogous to nitric oxide in its clot-preventing capability.

"This may have interesting applications in a wide range of biomedical device coatings," said Teng Xue, the study's lead author and a UCLA graduate student.

"This work demonstrates how the exploration of nanomaterials, combined with knowledge in chemical catalysis and biochemistry can lead to unique functional structures benefiting biomedical research and beyond," said principal author Yu Huang, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. "We will continue to explore molecular assemblies and conjugated catalytic systems as analogs to the functional proteins that can facilitate chemical transformations under mild conditions, like nature does."

More information: "Integration of molecular and enzymatic catalysts on graphene for biomimetic generation of antithrombotic species." Teng Xue, et al. Nature Communications 5, Article number: 3200 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4200. Received 30 June 2013 Accepted 06 January 2014 Published 11 February 2014

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Heart attack research discovers new treatment target

Feb 10, 2014

Research led by David Lefer, PhD, Professor and Director of the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, demonstrates for the first time cross-talk between two protective ...

Recommended for you

Researchers try to make sure herpes does not find a home

55 minutes ago

The immune system is great at making sure infections such as the herpes virus do not repeatedly infect a person, a condition known as a superinfection. Yet how the immune system combats superinfection is ...

A new way to diagnose malaria, using magnetic fields

19 hours ago

Over the past several decades, malaria diagnosis has changed very little. After taking a blood sample from a patient, a technician smears the blood across a glass slide, stains it with a special dye, and ...

How Alzheimer's peptides shut down cellular powerhouses

Aug 29, 2014

The failing in the work of nerve cells: An international team of researchers led by Prof. Dr. Chris Meisinger from the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Freiburg has discovered ...

User comments