Blood-compatible biomaterials by surface coating with a novel antithrombin–heparin covalent complex
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Covalent antithrombin-heparin complex (ATH) was covalently grafted to a polycarbonate urethane (Corethane) endoluminal graft (a kind gift of Corvita Corporation) after being activated using 0.3% m/m NaOCl in 0.15 M phosphate pH 6.0. ATH graft density (1.98 x 10(-7) mol/m2) was 6 times the maximum amount of unfractionated heparin (UFH) that could be bound to polycarbonate urethane surfaces. Surface-bound ATH could be stored in sterile 0.15 M NaCl at 4 degrees C for at least 2 months with good antithrombotic activity before being implanted into rabbits. Analysis of ATH-coated tubing showed that it contained significant direct thrombin inhibitory activity. In vivo testing in a rabbit model was compared to non-activated non-coated surfaces, activated-non-coated surfaces, hirudin-coated surfaces and antithrombin (AT)-coated surfaces. The weight of the clot generated in the ATH-coated graft tubing was significantly less than the weight of the clot generated within the hirudin-coated graft (p = 0.03 with a 1-tailed Student's t test). The anticoagulant nature of ATH grafts in vivo was shown to be due to bound ATH because boththe AT-coated surfaces and non-coated but activated surfaces showed similar thromboresistant efficacy to that of untreated material (ANOVA; p < 0.05). Apart from the direct antithrombin activity that contributed to much of the prolonged patency in vivo, surface-bound ATH likely catalyzed AT inhibition of thrombin, as evidenced by a significant number of 125I-AT binding sites (> or = 1.5 x 10(-8) mol/m2). Thus, ATH appears to be a good candidate for coating cardiovascular devices, such as endoluminal grafts, with high levels of substitution and significant long-term blood-compatibility.
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