FIB Patterning of Stainless Steel for the Development of Nano-structured Stent Surfaces for Cardiovascular Applications

  • Michael SchmidtEmail author
  • Feroze Nazneen
  • Paul Galvin
  • Nikolay Petkov
  • Justin D. Holmes
Part of the Lecture Notes in Nanoscale Science and Technology book series (LNNST, volume 20)


Stent implantation is a percutaneous interventional procedure that mitigates vessel stenosis, providing mechanical support within the artery and as such a very valuable tool in the fight against coronary artery disease. However, stenting causes physical damage to the arterial wall. It is well accepted that a valuable route to reduce in-stent re-stenosis can be based on promoting cell response to nano-structured stainless steel (SS) surfaces such as by patterning nano-pits in SS. In this regard patterning by focused ion beam (FIB) milling offers several advantages for flexible prototyping. On the other hand FIB patterning of polycrystalline metals is greatly influenced by channelling effects and redeposition. Correlative microscopy methods present an opportunity to study such effects comprehensively and derive structure–property understanding that is important for developing improved patterning. In this chapter we present a FIB patterning protocol for nano-structuring features (concaves) ordered in rectangular arrays on pre-polished 316L stainless steel surfaces. An investigation based on correlative microscopy approach of the size, shape and depth of the developed arrays in relation to the crystal orientation of the underlying SS domains is presented. The correlative microscopy protocol is based on cross-correlation of top-view scanning electron microscopy, electron backscattering diffraction, atomic force microscopy and cross-sectional (serial) sectioning. Various FIB tests were performed, aiming at improved productivity by preserving nano-size accuracy of the patterned process. The optimal FIB patterning conditions for achieving reasonably high throughput (patterned rate of about 0.03 mm2/h) and nano-size accuracy in dimensions and shapes of the features are discussed as well.


Stents FIB Polycrystalline austenitic medical grade stainless steel 316L substrate Nano-surface patterning with pits Concaves Holes Endothelial cell adhesion Correlative microscopy EBSD SEM AFM Serial FIB–SEM sectioning 



This work was supported through a Starting Investigator Research Grant (09/SIRG/I1621) of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform, Ireland (NBIPI) and the Integrated NanoScience Platform for Ireland (INSPIRE) initiatives funded by the Irish Government’s Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, Cycle 4, National Development Plan 2007–2013. The authors are grateful to Dr Shanthi Muttukrishna (Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork) for the gift of the human umbilical vein endothelial vein. Dr Lynette Keeney is gratefully acknowledged for performance of the AFM scans and line profiles for the correlative microscopy part of this chapter. Dr Calum Dickinson is gratefully acknowledged for contributing the EBSD measurements.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Schmidt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Feroze Nazneen
    • 2
  • Paul Galvin
    • 2
  • Nikolay Petkov
    • 1
  • Justin D. Holmes
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Chemistry and Analysis Group (MCAG), Electron Microscopy and Analysis Facility (EMAF)Tyndall National Institute, University College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.Life Sciences Interface (LSI) groupTyndall National Institute, University College CorkCorkIreland

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