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Nanoscale. 2013 Sep 21;5(18):8526-32. doi: 10.1039/c3nr01922e.

Study of urological devices coated with fullerene-like nanoparticles.

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Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Insertion of endoscopes and other medical devices into the human body are ubiquitous, especially among aged males. The applied force for the insertion/extraction of the device from the urethra must overcome endoscope-surface-human-tissue interactions. In daily practice a gel is applied on the endoscope surface, in order to facilitate its entry into the urethra, providing also for local anesthesia. In the present work, a new solid-state lubricant has been added to the gel, in order to reduce the metal-urethra interaction and alleviate the potential damage to the epithelial tissue. For that purpose, a urethra model was designed and fabricated, which allowed a quantitative assessment of the applied force for extraction of the endoscope from a soft polymer-based ring. It is shown that the addition of MoS2 nanoparticles with fullerene-like structure (IF-MoS2) and in particular rhenium-doped nanoparticles (Re:IF-MoS2) to Esracain gel applied on the metal-lead reduced the friction substantially. The Re:IF-MoS2 showed better results than the undoped fullerene-like nanoparticles and both performed better than the gel alone. The mechanism of friction reduction is attributed to fullerenes' ability to roll and act as a separator between the active parts of the model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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