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Carbohydrate-Functionalised Carbon Coatings for Biomedical Devices



This technology allows the attachment of complex carbohydrates to carbon coatings using a new, low cost, general, mild grafting methodology. The technology will enable researchers and product developers to integrate the benefits of bioactive carbohydrate coatings into carbon-based biomedical devices, implants, textiles and sensors. This research has significant potential to enhance the lifetime, functionality and biocompatibility of a range of medical devices and implants.

What Problem Does it Solve/Advantages

  • The functionalisation methodology is extremely mild and carried out in aqueous solution, thus allowing for surface modification of precision engineered biodevices.
  • The surface density of carbohydrates can be accurately controlled.
  • The methodology is rapid, single-step and applicable via dip or spray coating; therefore it is scalable for high throughput manufacturing.
  • Non toxic by-products (Green process).
  • The reagents for the grafting process are cheap and readily available.
    The methodology is general and can be applied to any carbohydrate or carbon-based coating of interest.

Commercial Applications

  • Biocompatible coatings for implants and biodevices (e.g. stents, heart valves, catheters, electrodes, etc.).
  • Antirestenotic coatings for catheters and stents.
  • Bioactive, non-toxic, anti-fouling coatings (for e.g. catheters, needles, guidewires, bulking agents, orthodontics, sensors, marine applications).
  • Antimicrobial and antifungal coatings for food packaging, textiles and agricultural applications.
  • Surfaces and scaffolds for tissue culture and engineering.
  • Patterning of bioactive entities.
  • High throughput screening of glycoprotein interactions (e.g. antibody screening, vaccine research, drug screening).
  • Carbohydrate-directed drug and nanoparticle delivery (e.g. aerosol, contrast agents, theranostics).
  • Biochips for rapid diagnostics (e.g. early-stage disease markers).
  • Immobilization of enzymes and cells for catalysis and bioreactor applications.
  • Surface modulation of bio-interactions for separation processes (e.g. membrane technology, stationary phases, etc.).

Technology Status

This technology is currently in development stage and is available for license to a company who is interested in biocompatible carbon surfaces for medical devices, implants or sensors. Carbon films are currently integrated into a wide range of commercially available devices and implants, for example catheters, stents, joint replacements, dental implants, in vivo sensors and even contact lenses. Our technology can be used to integrate the bioactive properties of carbohydrate coatings into any of these products.

Patent Status

European preliminary patent application filed October 2012.


Dr. Paula Colavita, Dr. Eoin Scanlon

Technology Transfer Case Manager: Dr Gordon Elliott

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