Surface modification of stainless steel for biomedical applications: Revisiting a century-old material

Aliya Bekmurzayeva, Wynter Duncanson, Helena Azevedo, Damira Kanayeva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Stainless steel (SS) has been widely used as a material for fabricating cardiovascular stents/valves, orthopedic prosthesis, and other devices and implants used in biomedicine due to its malleability and resistance to corrosion and fatigue. Despite its good mechanical properties, SS (as other metals) lacks biofunctionality. To be successfully used as a biomaterial, SS must be made resistant to the biological environment by increasing its anti-fouling properties, preventing biofilm formation (passive surface modification), and imparting functionality for eluting a specific drug or capturing selected cells (active surface modification); these features depend on the final application. Various physico-chemical techniques, including plasma vapor deposition, electrochemical treatment, and attachment of different linkers that add functional groups, are used to obtain SS with increased corrosion resistance, improved osseointegration capabilities, added hemocompatibility, and enhanced antibacterial properties. Existing literature on this topic is extensive and has not been covered in an integrated way in previous reviews. This review aims to fill this gap, by surveying the literature on SS surface modification methods, as well as modification routes tailored for specific biomedical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1089
Number of pages17
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Stainless steel
  • Surface modification
  • Biofunctionalization
  • Bioactivity

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