Superhemophobic Material

A blood-repellent titanium-based material that can repel virtually any liquid by roughening its surface with nanotubes. With potential medical implant applications, this material could reduce the risk of forming clots.
Technology Life Cycle

Technology Life Cycle


Initial phase where new technologies are conceptualized and developed. During this stage, technical viability is explored and initial prototypes may be created.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Lab Environment

Experimental analyses are no longer required as multiple component pieces are tested and validated altogether in a lab environment.

Technology Diffusion

Technology Diffusion


First to adopt new technologies. They are willing to take risks and are crucial to the initial testing and development of new applications.

Superhemophobic Material

A titanium-based material that can repel virtually any liquid, but in particular blood, by roughening its surface with nanotubes. By using a substrate made out of superhemophobic titania nanotubes, scientists can use a stable substance that could considerably decrease the surface absorption of protein while simultaneously delaying the clotting process.

This is a key innovation for medicine in terms of implants and medical devices as it can help solve issues such as blood clotting, as blood is incredibly difficult to repel from other materials and surfaces, creating significant challenges for scientists. Some reasons include the high propensity of blood to activate intrinsic hemostatic mechanisms, as well as the induction of coagulation and the activation of platelets upon contact with foreign bodies. In other words, when coagulation is imbalanced, patients using implants or medical devices could suffer from thrombogenesis or the formation of blood clots. In turn, this can impede the blood flow either at the site or even further downstream, causing emboli or exposing the tissue to ischemia and infarction.

The research regarding the interactions of superhemophobic surfaces and blood showed a considerable amount of protein adsorption and impressive platelet adhesion, which indicates this is a potential method for enhancing the compatibility of blood with other materials. The concept of strengthening hemocompatibility has been paramount in scientific research. This is because currently proposed methods, including modified polymer surfaces, did not show the same results as titania nanotubes arrays. Superhemophobic surfaces are a novel approach designed to enhance hemocompatibility; however, the interactions of blood components with these surfaces have not been studied in-depth, and further research is required for proper deployment.

In addition to medical devices, scientists are also considering the development of superhemophobic textiles, but using another substrate besides titanium nanotubes. Research has shown that a chitosan-aloe vera bio-nanocomposite could be used to produce not only blood-repellent but also antimicrobial lab garments, an achievement that could improve the life and treatment of hospital patients in the event of contamination.

Future Perspectives

With the use of blood-repellent materials such as the one based on titania nanotubes, patients can reduce side effects and be protected from contact between foreign devices and blood. However, more long-term research is necessary to fully deploy implantables benefitting from this technology. Another challenge faced by scientists is the development of manufacturing processes suitable for implantables and finding ways to make such devices scalable to attend to all patients with such demands.

Image generated by Envisioning using Midjourney

Superhaemophobic material could form the basis for safer medical implants
Researchers at Colorado State University have developed superhemophobic surfaces (surfaces that are extremely repellent to blood). Specifically, a fluorinated titanium surface having a textured morphology of either a nanotube or nanoflower array.
Medical textiles have a need for repellency to body fluids such as blood, urine, or sweat that may contain infectious vectors that contaminate surfaces and spread to other individuals. Similarly, viral repellency has yet to be demonstrated and long-term mechanical durability is a major challenge. In this work, we demonstrate a simple, durable and scalable coating on nonwoven polypropylene textile that is both superhemophobic and anti-virofouling. The treatment consists of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nanoparticles in a solvent thermally sintered to polypropylene (PP) microfibers which creates a robust, low surface energy, and multi-layer, multi-length scale rough surface. The treated textiles demonstrate a static contact angle of 158.3 ± 2.6° and hysteresis of 4.7 ± 1.7° for fetal bovine serum and reduce serum protein adhesion by 89.7 ± 7.3% (0.99 log reduction). The coated textiles reduce the attachment of adenovirus type 4 and 7a virions by 99.2 ± 0.2% and 97.6 ± 0.1% (2.10 and 1.62 log), respectively, compared to noncoated controls. The treated textiles provide these repellencies by maintaining a Cassie-Baxter state of wetting where the surface area in contact with liquids is reduced by an estimated 350 times (2.54 log) compared to control textiles. Moreover, the treated textiles exhibit unprecedented mechanical durability, maintaining their liquid, protein, and viral repellency after extensive and harsh abrasion and washing. The multi-layer, multilength scale roughness provides for mechanical durability through self-similarity and the samples have high pressure stability with a breakthrough pressure of about 255 kPa. These properties highlight the potential of durable, repellent coatings for medical gowning, scrubs, or other hygiene textile applications.
Superhydrophobic surfaces repel water and, in some cases, other liquids as well. The repellency is caused by topographical features at the nano‐/microscale and low surface energy. Blood is a challenging liquid to repel due to its high propensity for activation of intrinsic hemostatic mechanisms, induction of coagulation, and platelet activation upon contact with foreign surfaces. Imbalanced activation of coagulation drives thrombogenesis or formation of blood clots that can occlude the blood flow either on‐site or further downstream as emboli, exposing tissues to ischemia and infarction. Blood‐repellent superhydrophobic surfaces aim toward reducing the thrombogenicity of surfaces of blood‐contacting devices and implants. Several mechanisms that lead to blood repellency are proposed, focusing mainly on platelet antiadhesion. Structured surfaces can: (i) reduce the effective area exposed to platelets, (ii) reduce the adhesion area available to individual platelets, (iii) cause hydrodynamic effects that reduce platelet adhesion, and (iv) reduce or alter protein adsorption in a way that is not conducive to thrombus formation. These mechanisms benefit from the superhydrophobic Cassie state, in which a thin layer of air is trapped between the solid surface and the liquid. The connections between water‐ and blood repellency are discussed and several recent examples of blood‐repellent superhydrophobic surfaces are highlighted.
Blood-contacting titanium-based implants such as endovascular stents and heart valve casings are prone to blood clotting due to improper interactions at the surface level. In complement, the current clinical demand for cardiovascular implants is at a new apex. Hence, there is a crucial necessity to fabricate an implant with optimal mechanical properties and improved blood compatibility, while simultaneously interacting differentially with cells and other microbial agents. The present study intends to develop a superhydrophobic implant surface with the novel micro-nano topography, developed using a facile thermochemical process. The surface topography, apparent contact angle, and crystal structure are characterized on different surfaces. The hemo/blood compatibility on different surfaces is assessed by evaluating hemolysis, fibrinogen adsorption, cell adhesion and identification, thrombin generation, complement activation, and whole blood clotting kinetics. The results indicate that the super-hemo/hydrophobic micro-nano titanium surface improved hemocompatibility by significantly reducing fibrinogen adsorption, platelet adhesion, and leukocyte adhesion. Thus, the developed surface has high potential to be used as an implant. Further studies are directed towards analyzing the mechanisms causing the improved hemocompatibility of micro/nano surface features under dynamic in vitro and in vivo conditions.
Blood, plasma and water droplets beading on a superomniphobic surface. CSU researchers have created a superhemophobic titanium surface, repellent to blood, that has potential applications for biocompatible medical devices.
A titanium surface covered in fluorinated nanotubes can repel blood and so could reduce blood clotting by medical implants.
The need to improve blood biocompatibility of medical devices is urgent. As soon as blood encounters a biomaterial implant, proteins adsorb on its surfaces, often leading to several complications such as thrombosis and failure of the device. Therefore, controlling protein adsorption plays a major role in developing hemocompatible materials. In this study, the interaction of key blood plasma proteins with superhemophobic titania nanotube substrates and the blood clotting responses was investigated. The substrate stability was evaluated and fibrinogen adsorption and thrombin formation from plasma were assessed using ELISA. Whole blood clotting kinetics was also investigated, and Factor XII activation on the substrates was characterized by an in vitro plasma coagulation time assay. The results show that superhemophobic titania nanotubes are stable and considerably decrease surface protein adsorption/Factor XII activation as well as delay the whole blood clotting, and thus can be a promising approach for designing blood contacting medical devices.

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