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      Dialysis and Nanotechnology: Now, 10 Years, or Never?

      a , a , b , b

      Blood Purification

      S. Karger AG

      Dialysis, Nanotechnology, Renal replacement

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          Nanotechnology, defined as the science of material features between 10<sup>–9</sup> and 10<sup>–7</sup> of a meter, has received extensive attention in the popular press as proof-of-concept experiments in the laboratory are published. The inevitable delay between feature articles and clinical endpoints has led to unwarranted skepticism about the applicability of the technology to current medical therapy. The theoretic advantages of micro- and nanometer scale engineering to renal replacement include the manufacture of high-hydraulic permeability membranes with implanted sensing and control structures. Recent data in membrane design and testing is presented, with a review of the challenges remaining in implementation of this technology.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Zeta potential of microfluidic substrates: 1. Theory, experimental techniques, and effects on separations.

          This paper summarizes theory, experimental techniques, and the reported data pertaining to the zeta potential of silica and silicon with attention to use as microfluidic substrate materials, particularly for microchip chemical separations. Dependence on cation concentration, buffer and cation type, pH, cation valency, and temperature are discussed. The Debye-Hückel limit, which is often correctly treated as a good approximation for describing the ion concentration in the double layer, can lead to serious errors if it is extended to predict the dependence of zeta potential on the counterion concentration. For indifferent univalent electrolytes (e.g., sodium and potassium), two simple scalings for the dependence of zeta potential on counterion concentration can be derived in high- and low-zeta limits of the nonlinear Poisson-Boltzman equation solution in the double layer. It is shown that for most situations relevant to microchip separations, the high-zeta limit is most applicable, leading to the conclusion that the zeta potential on silica substrates is approximately proportional to the logarithm of the molar counterion concentration. The zeta vs. pH dependence measurements from several experiments are compared by normalizing the zeta based on concentration.
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            Evaluation of MEMS materials of construction for implantable medical devices.

            Medical devices based on microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) platforms are currently being proposed for a wide variety of implantable applications. However, biocompatibility data for typical MEMS materials of construction and processing, obtained from standard tests currently recognized by regulatory agencies, has not been published. Likewise, the effects of common sterilization techniques on MEMS material properties have not been reported. Medical device regulatory requirements dictate that materials that are biocompatibility tested be processed and sterilized in a manner equivalent to the final production device. Material, processing, and sterilization method can impact the final result. Six candidate materials for implantable MEMS devices, and one encapsulating material, were fabricated using typical MEMS processing techniques and sterilized. All seven materials were evaluated using a baseline battery of ISO 10993 physicochemical and biocompatibility tests. In addition, samples of these materials were evaluated using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) pre- and post-sterilization. While not addressing all facets of ISO 10993 testing, the biocompatibility and SEM data indicate few concerns about use of these materials in implant applications.
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              Biomimetic engineering of non-adhesive glycocalyx-like surfaces using oligosaccharide surfactant polymers.

              The external region of a cell membrane, known as the glycocalyx, is dominated by glycosylated molecules, which direct specific interactions such as cell-cell recognition and contribute to the steric repulsion that prevents undesirable non-specific adhesion of other molecules and cells. Mimicking the non-adhesive properties of a glycocalyx provides a potential solution to the clinical problems, such as thrombosis, that are associated with implantable devices owing to non-specific adsorption of plasma proteins. Here we describe a biomimetic surface modification of graphite using oligosaccharide surfactant polymers, which, like a glycocalyx, provides a dense and confluent layer of oligosaccharides. The surfactant polymers consist of a flexible poly(vinyl amine) with dextran and alkanoyl side chains. We show that alkanoyl side chains assemble on graphite through hydrophobic interaction and epitaxial adsorption. This constrains the polymer backbone to lie parallel to the substrate, with solvated dextran side chains protruding into the aqueous phase, creating a glycocalyx-like coating. The resulting biomimetic surface is effective in suppressing protein adsorption from human plasma protein solution.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                December 2006
                14 December 2006
                : 25
                : 1
                : 12-17
                aDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., and bBioMEMS Laboratory, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                96391 Blood Purif 2007;25:12–17
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, References: 25, Pages: 6
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                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Renal replacement, Dialysis, Nanotechnology


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