Interaction of thrombocytes with poly(ether imide): The influence of processing


The processing of polymers for blood contacting devices can have a major influence on surface properties. In this study, we fabricated poly(ether imide) (PEI) membranes and films to investigate the effects of the processing on physicochemical surface properties by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy, contact angle as well as zeta potential measurements. A static platelet adhesion test was performed to analyze the thrombogenicity of both devices. While contact angle measurements showed similar levels of hydrophobicity and zeta potential values were equivalent, mean surface roughness as well as surface energies in the dispersive part were found to be increased for the PEI membrane. The static platelet adhesion test showed a significantly decreased number of adherent platelets per surface area on the PEI film (178.98 ± 102.70/45000 μm2) compared to the PEI membrane (504 ± 314.27/45000μm2) and, consequently, revealed evidence for higher thrombogenicity of the PEI membrane. This study shows that processing can have a significant effect on platelet adhesion to biomaterials, even though, molar weight was identical. Thrombogenicity of polymer-based cardiovascular devices, therefore, have to be evaluated at the final product level, following the entire processing procedure.
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