Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Lia Stanciu

Committee Chair

Lia Stanciu

Committee Member 1

Jean Paul Allain

Committee Member 2

Eric Nauman

Committee Member 3

Jeffrey Youngblood


Due to their strength, elasticity, and durability, a variety of metal alloys are commonly used in medical implants. Traditionally, corrosion-resistant metals have been preferred. These permanent materials can cause negative systemic and local tissue effects in the long-term. Permanent stenting can lead to late-stent thrombosis and in-stent restenosis. Metallic pins and screws for fracture fixation can corrode and fail, cause loss of bone mass, and contribute to inflammation and pain at the implant site, requiring reintervention. Corrodible metallic implants have the potential to prevent many of these complications by providing transient support to the affected tissue, dissolving at a rate congruent with the healing of the tissue. Alloys of iron and manganese (FeMn) exhibit similar fatigue strength, toughness, and elasticity compared with 316L stainless steel, making them very attractive candidates for bioresorbable stents and temporary fracture fixation devices. Much attention in recent years has been given to creating alloys with ideal mechanical properties for various applications. Little work has been done on determining the blood compatibility of these materials or on examining how their surfaces can be improved to improve cell adhesion, however. We examined thethrombogenic response of blood exposed to various resorbable ferrous stent materials through contact with porcine blood. The resorbable materials induced comparable or lower levels of several coagulation factors compared with 316L stainless steel. Little platelet adhesion was observed on any of the tested materials. ^ Endothelialization is an important process after the implantation of a vascular stent, as it prevents damage to the vessel wall that can accelerate neointimal hyperplasia. Micromotion can lead to the formation of fibrous tissue surrounding an orthopedic implant, loosening, and ultimately failure of the implant. Nanoscale features were created on the surfaces of noble metal coatings, silicon, and bioabsorbable materials through ion beam irradiation in order to improve endothelialzation and bone cell adhesion. Gold, palladium, silicon, and iron manganese surfaces were patterned through ion beam irradiation using argon ions. The surface morphology of the samples was examined using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), while surface chemistry was examined through x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and contact angle goniometry measurements. It was not possible to create nanoscale surface features on the surfaces of the gold and palladium films. At near normal incidence, irradiation produced ripples on the surfaces of Si(100), while oblique incidence irradiation produced nanoislands in the presence of impurities on the surface. Iron manganese irradiation resulted in the formation of blade-shaped structures for ion energies between 500eV and 1000eV, and significant iron enrichment at the surface. ^ Chemical treatment can also be used to create surface features that will enhance cell adhesion. Ti6Al4V is one of the most commonly used alloys for permanent orthopedic devices. The creation of a porous surface in order to improve osteoblast adhesion was achieved through chemical etching using acid-peroxide solutions. While phosphoric acid etched the grain boundaries, sulfuric and nitric acid preferentially etched grains of particular orientations, creating a spongy, porous morphology that has the potential to aid in osseointegration.