Protein resistant polyurethane surfaces by chemical grafting of PEO: amino-terminated PEO as grafting reagent
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The objective of this work was to gain a better understanding of the mechanism of resistance to protein adsorption of surfaces grafted with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). A polyurethane-urea was used as a substrate to which PEO was grafted. Grafting was carried out by introducing isocyanate groups into the surface followed by reaction with amino-terminated PEO. Surfaces grafted with PEO of various chain lengths (PUU-NPEO) were prepared and characterized by water contact angle and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). XPS data indicated higher graft densities on the PUU-NPEO surfaces than on analogous surfaces prepared using hydroxy-PEO (PUU-OPEO) as reported previously [J.G. Archambault, J.L. Brash, Colloids Surf. B: Biointerf. 33 (2004) 111-120]. Protein adsorption experiments using radiolabeled myoglobin, concanavalin A, albumin, fibrinogen and ferritin as single proteins in buffer showed that adsorption was reduced on the PEO-grafted surfaces by up to 95% compared to the control. Adsorption decreased with increasing PEO chain length and reached a minimum at a PEO MW of 2000. Adsorption levels on surfaces with 5000 and 2000 MW grafts were similar. There was no clear effect of protein size on resistance to protein adsorption. Adsorption on the PUU-NPEO surfaces was significantly lower than on the corresponding PUU-OPEO surfaces, again suggesting higher graft densities on the former. Adsorption of fibrinogen from plasma was also greatly reduced on the grafted surfaces. From analysis (SDS-PAGE, immunoblotting) of the proteins eluted after plasma exposure, it was found that the grafted surfaces and the unmodified substrate adsorbed the same proteins in roughly the same proportions, suggesting that adsorption to the PEO surfaces occurs on patches of bare substrate. The PEO grafts did not apparently cause differential access to the substrate based on protein size.
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