Coating for medical implants, other uses, without toxic chemicals

Edit Hook

Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a medical implant coating using the amino acid L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA), which is believed to be responsible for both adhesive and crosslinking characteristics of mussel adhesive proteins. DOPA is the active ingredient in mussel adhesive that allows mussels to stick to underwater substrates with twice the strength of epoxy. Preliminary trials indicate that DOPA retains its remarkable adhesive properties when applied to gold and titanium, materials often used in medical devices. Further, by attaching DOPA to molecules that prevent protein and cell build-up, the Northwestern University team has given the coating a two-sided quality, enabling it to ward off biofouling. Although the DOPA two-sided coating has not yet been tested in humans, researchers anticipate that it will be available for clinical use in the next three to five years.Watch Video

Edit Summary