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Interfacial fibrosis is known to dramatically decrease the lifespan, stability, and function of biomedical implants and bone-anchored prosthetics. Bioactive coatings aimed at mitigating fibrous adhesions are one of the approaches to alleviate the problem. In this paper, we are developing a bioactive coating based upon a magnetoelastic (ME) material that vibrates in response to an ac magnetic field. In order to establish these coatings for this purpose, the ME material was first rendered bioactive through the sequential addition of polyurethane and chitosan thin films. Indirect live/dead assays were performed showing increased cell viability for polyurethane and chitosan-coated sensors compared to the uncoated controls. Direct adhesion experiments were performed to test the response of fibroblasts cultured on static and vibrated ME materials. Results showed cells adherent to static but not vibrated coatings. Detached cells showed no viability loss compared to controls. The finding that submicrometer ME vibrations can prevent cell adhesion in vitro without inducing cell death suggests the potential of these coatings to effectively control interfacial fibrosis. Future work will address the effect of vibrations on cell morphology and local gene expression in vitro, as well as fibrous tissue formation in vivo.
Date of Publication: March 2011