Acta biomaterialia

Surface fluorination of polylactide as a path to improve platelet associated hemocompatibility.

PMID 30036719


Surface-induced thrombosis is still a significant clinical concern for many types of blood-contacting medical devices. In particular, protein adsorption and platelet adhesion are important events due to their ability to trigger the coagulation cascade and initiate thrombosis. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) has been the predominant polymer used for making bioresorbable stents. Despite long-term advantages, these stents are associated with higher rates of early thrombosis compared with permanent metallic stents. To address this issue, we modified the surface of PLA with a perfluoro compound facilitated by surface activation using radio frequency (RF) plasma. Fluoropolymers have been extensively used in blood contacting materials, such as blood vessel replacements due to their reduced thrombogenicity and reduced platelet reactivity. The compositions of plasma-treated surfaces were determined by electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA). Also, contact angle measurements, cell cytotoxicity and the degradation profile of the treated polymers are presented. Finally, relevant blood compatibility parameters, including plasma protein adsorption, platelet adhesion and morphology, were evaluated. We hypothesized that tight binding of adsorbed albumin by fluoropolymers enhances its potential for blood-contacting applications. Although bioresorbable stents made from poly(lactic acid) (PLA) may have long-term clinical advantages, they have shown higher rates of early thrombosis as compared with permanent metallic stents. To improve the thromboresistance of PLA, we developed a novel method for surface fluorination of this polymer with a perfluoro compound. Fluoropolymers (e.g., expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) have long been used in blood-contacting applications due to their satisfactory clinical performance. This is the first report of PLA surface fluorination which might be applied to the fabrication of a new generation of fluorinated PLA stents with improved platelet interaction, tunable degradability and drug release capabilities. Also, we describe a general strategy for improving the platelet interactions with biomaterials based on albumin retention.