Innovative procedures for advanced surface properties of medical stainless steel (J3-3074)

Project Leader: Dr Metka Benčina (Jozef Stefan Institute)

Within the project, surface modification procedures (combination of electrochemical anodization and non-thermal plasma treatment) will be performed in order to improve antibacterial activity and biocompatibility of medical grade stainless steel (SS316). It is expected that this novel approach will alter SS316 surface characteristics, specifically nano topography, composition and wettability, which significantly influence biological response, but at the same time, it will retain mechanical properties of SS316. Moreover, stable surface oxide layer induced by plasma treatment could prevent the release of toxic/allergic elements into the human body. It is expected that such surface modification will also allow direct drug loading on the surface of SS316 without the use of toxic polymer matrixes. This treatment could be applicable for the design of not only medical devices but also other hospital settings made from various metal alloys. Project goals are: i.) Synthesis of nano-patterned SS316 surfaces with the combination of electrochemical anodization and non-thermal plasma treatment; characterization of surface properties (wettability, morphology, surface chemistry, etc.) of SS316; ii.) Evaluation of antibacterial performance of SS316; iii.) Evaluation of biocompatibility of novel SS316; corrosion resistance, hemocompatibility and cytocompatibility.