Nanotech 2010

Atomic Force Microscopy of Vascular Stents and Other Bio-implants: Extracting Meaningful Nano-scale Information

F.M. Serry, R.D. Serry
Serry Enterprises, Inc., US

Keywords: stent AFM nano implant sirolimus coronary cytostatic anti-scarring


The purpose is to clarify what we can ascertain with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) investigating 1) the nano-scale properties of bio-implant surfaces and, 2) how these surfaces interact with chemical and biological agents that come into contact with them. The main concern is extracting the correct information about the surface (and immediate sub-surface) of, for example, a vascular stent or any other bio-implant. The process of extracting meaningful information from raw AFM data is complex, requiring not only nano-scientific and clinical knowledge, but also in-depth understanding of the way the AFM works: capabilities and limitations. The limitations are frequently illusive from all but the most experienced and knowledgeable examiners of the data; therefore, artifacts, for example, not only go un-noticed, but are frequently misinterpreted. The misleading information wastes significant resources that are subsequently expended following the wrong or even non-existent, but apparently present, information in AFM data. We discuss AFM images detailing the surfaces of vascular stents that illustrate the possibilities and the complex challenges in interpreting AFM data. The process of gathering high-fidelity raw AFM data is equally complex; we will briefly explain this process in order to enhance the understanding of data interpretation and information extraction.
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