Technology Platform

Covalent Bonds: Strong and Durable

There are multiple types of chemical bonds that may attach molecules together or to a surface:

Hydrogen Bonds

Hydrogen and Van der Waals bonds are the most common and weakest forms of chemical bonds. These are commonly seen in antibiotics that are adsorbed to a material surface or antibiotic bone cement. These types of bonds are easily broken and therefore have limited functional lifespan.

Product Examples: Adsorbed antibiotic, Antibiotic cement

Characteristics: Weak, transient, easily broken

Ionic Bonds

Ionic bonds are represented by many drug-eluting stents or hydroxyapatite-coated surfaces. These are strong bonds, but can be unstable under certain circumstances, including in bodily fluids. These types of bonds are often used in anticipation of the molecule coming off the material surface.

Product Examples: Ag++, HA coatings, Drug-eluting stents

Characteristics: Strong, not stable in all solvents

Covalent Bonds

Covalent bonds are among the strongest and most durable of all types of chemical bonds. They are exceptionally stable when attached to surfaces in a variety of very harsh conditions and environments. MST focuses on covalent bonding strategies for its multiple molecular surface modification technologies, providing long-lasting function with little to no threat of harm to the surrounding tissue or local environment.

Product Examples:
MST Anodization

Characteristics:
Strong, stable (nearly permanent), more difficult to break

Advantages of a Bound Molecule

Covalently-bound molecules offer a number of advantages over their eluting or weakly-bound counterparts:

A permanent surface attachment will continue to be active long after the eluting coating has dissociated from the surface, and, in the case of antimicrobials, will not lead to downstream toxicity in the body or antimicrobial resistance in bacterial sub-populations.

Covalent treatment methods also allow for a smaller quantity of functional molecules to be used during production as it not necessary to account for loss of material post-implantation, thus offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional eluting coatings.

 

Advantages of a Bound Molecule
Our Technology

Our Technology

Our proprietary technology creates its functional properties by modifying the molecular surface of a material with various molecules that impart that function.

We start with a native material surface and need to add or bind an appropriate functionalizing molecule.

Although the functional molecule may be added directly to the native surface, we most typically insert a linker or tethering molecule between the material surface and the functional molecule. This provides a number of benefits, such as improving attachment strength and increasing the density of functional molecules that can be attached to the surface.

The dimensional scale of these surfaces is less than 100 nanometers, so thin it is virtually “dimensionless” and, importantly, does not alter the mechanical properties of the material.

Diverse Bonding Strategies

The creation of these surfaces and covalent bonding requires the addition of energy to drive chemistry at the surface. We have pioneered the use of multiple strategies that are tailored to the specific types of materials and applications. Such bonding strategies include:

Electrochemical

Electrical energy is used to drive chemical reactions resulting in stable robust modified surfaces. This is analogous to and often nearly identical to typical anodization processes. Such processes may be carried out in a common aqueous (water) or organic (methanol) environment depending on the exact chemical reactions required. This is highly cost effective for conductive surfaces and familiar to nearly all industrial manufacturers.

Photocatalytic

Depending on size and material properties, adding energy by forms of light may be more effective and economical. We most commonly employ ultraviolet light to drive reactions at the material surface for this bonding strategy.

Thermal

Using heat to add energy to drive chemical reactions is the oldest and simplest solution. Most commonly, MST may employ indirect heating to material surfaces that provides for a very uniform energy density and delivers consistent, predictable results.

The result of our unique and proprietary surface modification technology is the delivery of a surface that is remarkably potent in its programmed function.

Click the link below to learn more about our focus on antimicrobial, lubricious, and biogenic surface modifications.

Applications
Click the link below to learn more about our focus on antimicrobial, lubricious, and biogenic surface modifications.