Biocompatible, hyaluronic acid modified silicone elastomers
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Although silicones possess many useful properties as biomaterials, their hydrophobicity can be problematic. To a degree, this issue can be addressed by surface modification with hydrophilic polymers such as poly(ethylene glycol), but the resulting structures are usually not conducive to cell growth. In the present work, we describe the synthesis and characterization of covalently linked hyaluronic acid (HA) (35 kDa) to poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) elastomer surfaces. HA is of interest because of its known biological properties; its presence on a surface was expected to improve the biocompatibility of silicone materials for a wide range of bioapplications. HA was introduced with a coupling agent in two steps from high-density, tosyl-modified, poly(ethylene glycol) tethered silicone surfaces. All materials synthesized were characterized by water contact angle, ATR-FTIR, XPS and (13)C solid state NMR spectroscopy. Biological interactions with these modified silicone surfaces were assessed by examining interactions with fibrinogen as a model protein as well as determining the in vitro response of fibroblast (3T3) and human corneal epithelial cells relative to unmodified poly(dimethylsiloxane) controls. The results suggest that HA modification significantly enhances cell interactions while decreasing protein adsorption and may therefore be effective for improving biocompatibility of PDMS and other materials.
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