Methacrylate polymer layers bearing poly(ethylene oxide) and phosphorylcholine side chains as non-fouling surfaces: In vitro interactions with plasma proteins and platelets
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Two methacrylate monomers, oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (OEGMA; MW=300 g mol(-1), poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) side chains of average length n=4.5) and 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC; MW=295 g mol(-1)), were grafted from silicon wafer surfaces via surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization. The grafted surfaces were used as model PEG and phosphorylcholine surface systems to allow comparison of the effectiveness of these two motifs in the prevention of plasma protein adsorption and platelet adhesion. It was found that at high graft density fibrinogen adsorption from plasma on the poly(MPC) and poly(OEGMA) surfaces for a given graft chain length was comparable and extremely low. At low graft density, poly(OEGMA) was slightly more effective than poly(MPC) in resisting fibrinogen adsorption from plasma. Flowing whole blood experiments showed that at low graft density the poly(OEGMA) surfaces were more resistant to fibrinogen adsorption and platelet adhesion than the poly(MPC) surfaces. At high graft density, both the poly(MPC) and poly(OEGMA) surfaces were highly resistant to fibrinogen and platelets. Immunoblots of proteins eluted from the surfaces after contact with human plasma were probed with antibodies against a range of proteins, including the contact phase clotting factors, fibrinogen, albumin, complement C3, IgG, vitronectin and apolipoprotein A-I. The blot responses were weak on the poly(MPC) and poly(OEGMA) surfaces at low graft density and zero at high graft density, again indicating strongly protein resistant properties for these surfaces. Since the side chains of the poly(OEGMA) are about 50% greater in size than those of poly(MPC), the difference in protein resistance between the poly(MPC) and poly(OEGMA) surfaces at low graft density may be due to the difference in surface coverage of the two graft types.