Nanoparticle Coating System for Biomedical Applications

Period of Performance: 09/01/2007 - 08/31/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanomech, LLC
535 W Research Blvd, Suite 135, M/S 100
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The main goals of this SBIR Phase II project are to design, fabricate and commercialize a scalable 'turn-key' deposition system- NanoBioCoatTM (suitable for dry powder and liquid dispersion) for applying active or passive nanoparticle-based functionally graded coatings on implants for biomedical applications. To develop and prototype the system, three major tasks will be performed: (1) systematic design, development, and prototyping of the NanoBioCoatTM system; (2) demonstration of the system in depositing a nanoparticle-based functionally graded coating (using TiO2,HAp, and ZnO) on hip implants; and (3) extensive testing of the coating system and coated components for physical, chemical, and biomedical properties. The challenge facing current state-of-the-art nanoparticle deposition systems is the difficulty in retaining the functional signatures of nanoparticles due to particle size growth caused by agglomeration and consolidation. To address these challenges, NanoMech proposes to develop the NanoBioCoatTM system, which features innovative methods for nanoparticle spray deposition, namely an electrostatic spray coating (ESC) process combined with a nanoparticle fluidization technique, and a transient sintering process. A key feature of the deposition system is the capability to start with nanoparticles and retain their nano-characteristics in the resulting coating. The system will be able to produce coatings using any of a number of different materials including titania, hydroxyapatite (HAp), and zinc oxide, singly or in combination. The system can apply coatings to biomedical devices such as implants, providing bioactive functions such as promoting bone growth and/or reducing bacteria. In addition, other important features related to ESC for biomedical implant coatings include the ability to: (1) deposit different types of nanoparticles individually and in combination; (2) produce structurally and compositionally graded coatings; (3) provide uniform deposition on complex 3D geometries; (4) deposit multi-functional composite coatings using different types of materials for innovative applications; (5) functionalize the coatings through deposition of bioactive materials, during deposition or in post processing (e.g., by adding proteins); and (6) provide high productivity and cost effectiveness. If successful, the proposed system will help to realize nanoparticle based bioactive coatings on implants to significantly shorten the fixation time, reduce the chance of bacteria infection, and extend the implant life for tissue engineering. In addition, the system has potential for coatings for drug delivery, environmental decontamination, and protective clothing.