Electrostatic forces on the surface of metals as measured by atomic force microscopy

Eugene A. Sprague, Julio C. Palmaz, Cristina Simon, Aaron Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Electrostatic forces play an important role in modulating the interaction of plasma proteins and blood cellular components with the surface of the vascular endothelium. Based on the concept that electrostatic forces residing on the surface of metal intravascular prostheses, such as the stent, also are critical in influencing blood interactions with those surfaces and the vascular wall, these studies were designed to measure these forces on 4 metals using atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM measurements performed in a low saline aqueous medium at physiological pH indicate a similar net electronegative surface charge level for gold and 3161 stainless steel that is significantly higher than the level measured on an electropolished Nitinol surface. Heat oxidation of the Nitinol surface increased the overall electronegativity and created a more homogeneous surface charge distribution. This study demonstrates that AFM force measurements can be a valuable approach to understanding the electrostatic surface of metallic as well as other biomaterials that may be important in understanding how these surfaces influence vascular healing at intravascular interventional sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-125
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Biomaterials
  • Metals
  • Stents
  • Surface electrostatic force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Dentistry(all)


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