ADVANCED DIAMOND TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will investigate UNCD(R), a nanocrystalline from of smooth, thin diamond, as an anti-thrombotic coating for implantable medical devices. One of the largest problem with implantable circulatory assist devices such as artificial hearts and vascular assist devices (VADs) is the need to treat patients with anticoagulants to avoid blood clots within the devices and to avoid heart attack, stroke, and death that may occur if the anticoagulation dosage is not right. Previous work on diamond and diamond-like carbon (DLC) has demonstrated reduced interactivity between the coating and human blood clotting factors. The use of UNCD however, with its overall biochemical and electrochemical inertness, extreme durability to wear, and very low surface roughness, will extend the advantages previously demonstrated with other carbon materials.
The broader impacts of this research are the potential reduction or elimination of anticoagulants for patients with implanted medical devices, making a much larger patient population eligible for advanced devices such as heart pumps, and enabling the use of these devices for new applications. UNCD coatings on the blood contacting surfaces of these and similar devices has the potential to eliminate the need for anticoagulation or to reduce it to so low a dose that the risk of fatal bleeding can be eliminated. The reduction in prescription costs alone could pay for this investment many times over. Fundamental work will also shed light on the effects of dynamic blood flow, variations in surface chemistry and morphology on the thrombus/clot formation.