University of Arkansas researchers combined an alkali with heat to produce ceramic nanowires that coat titanium medical implants, creating more biocompatible surfaces. Muscle tissue often does not adhere well to the smooth surfaces of titanium, leading to failure after about ten years. In experiments with mice, muscles adhere to the new nanowire compound in about four weeks. "We can control the length, the height, the pore openings and the pore volumes within the nanowire scaffolds" by varying the time, temperature and alkali concentration in the reaction, said Z. Ryan Tian, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. "This process is also extremely sustainable," requiring only that the device be rinsed in reusable water after the heating process.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
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