Biofunctional Lubricant-Infused Vascular Grafts Functionalized with Silanized Bio-Inks Suppress Thrombin Generation and Promote Endothelialization
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The ongoing problem with the thrombogenicity and poor tissue integration of synthetic vascular grafts demands the design of new surfaces that simultaneously suppress thrombosis and promote endothelialization. Lubricant-infused surfaces have shown outstanding results in preventing clot formation; however, their innate ability to completely block the surface, averts targeted binding of desired biomolecules. We report a new class of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) vascular grafts that prevent blood coagulation and concurrently promote endothelial cell adhesion. This is made possible by direct silanization of anti-CD34 antibody with the coupling agent and subsequent conjugation of the silanized antibody to the ePTFE surface. In contrast to the conventional methods, we eliminated the need to chemically modify the ePTFE substrate for attaching the capturing ligand, and as a result preserved the innate surface properties of the ePTFE substrate. This is crucial for infiltrating the fluorine-based ePTFE substrate with a biocompatible perfluorocarbon-based lubricant and ultimately creating a functional and stable lubricant-infused layer. Compared to commercially available ePTFE vascular grafts and the ones coated using conventional methods, our developed ePTFE grafts significantly attenuate thrombin generation and blood clot formation and specifically capture endothelial cells from human whole blood while preventing nonspecific adhesion of undesirable proteins and cells. The developed technology can be applied to other biomarkers and biomaterials and can be tailored toward different biomedical applications where biofunctionality and targeted binding are of importance.
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