New Abbott (Ireland) patent waxes poetically about stems cells (Grafix?) on metal.
Metal alloy for medical devices and implants
United States Patent 8349249
3. A medical implant or medical device comprising components at least partially fabricated from a tantalum-based metal alloy, wherein the tantalum-based metal alloy consists essentially of: (a) about 10 weight percent niobium; (b) about 1 weight percent of zirconium; (c) up to 5 weight percent in total of at least one element selected from the group consisting of hafnium, rhenium and lanthanides; (d) and a balance of tantalum, and wherein the tantalum-based metal alloy has a surface coated with at least one of stem cells and a bioactive substance.
Furthermore the alloy surface or the coatings can comprise stem cells and/or a bioactive substances, in particular drugs, antibiotics, growth factors, anti-inflammatory agents and/or anti-thrombogenic agents. Further, the surface can be modified by electropolishing or mechanical polishing for formation of a completely smooth surface, sintering to achieve a porous coating as for example described in EP0601804, or by roughening procedures or microblasting, in particular sandblasting, to achieve a rough surface.
In the above implants and devices the surface of the metal alloys may be passivated by oxidation or nitridization, or may be electropolished, mechanically polished, micro blasted, roughened or sintered, or may be coated with a polymer, a blend of polymers, a metal, a blend of metals, a ceramic and/or biomolecules, in particular peptides, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and/or nucleic acids; or may be coated with stem cells and/or a bioactive substance, in particular drugs, antibiotics, growth factors, anti-inflammatory agents and/or anti-thrombogenic agents.