AbstractWith the worldwide increase of atherosclerosis, the need for new engineered patient specific implants such as stents or vascular grafts is still emerging. Recently, very smooth poly(ether imide) (PEI) films were, based on their excellent hemocompatibility and compatibility with endothelial cells, suggested as potential biomaterial for cardiovascular applications. In atherosclerosis, immune mechanisms such as complement activation, but also cellular responses such as monocytes and neutrophils activation, can mediate the inflammatory response. Therefore, it is important that the implant material itself does not trigger the inflammatory response. Early immune mechanisms - e.g. macrophage activation, complement induction, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the secretion of inflammatory cytokines by leukocytes - could potentiate the inflammatory responses, and may thereby alter endothelial cells behaviour or facilitate platelet activation. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the immuno-compatibility of PEI-films. The PEI-films were fabricated from commercially available PEI, which was dissolved in dichloromethane and pulled out on a cleaned, smooth glass surface and subsequently, solvent residues were removed during the drying procedure. Using a murine macrophage reporter cell line possible material bound microbial contaminations and material intrinsic immuno-stimulatory properties were investigated. The macrophages were viable after adhering on the PEI-films and did not show signs of activation, indicating that the used PEI-film was free of microbial contaminations. To determine whether PEI-films induced complement activation, the release of C5a in pooled human plasma was analyzed. The detected C5a levels did not differ between PEI-films and tissue culture plates (TCP), which served as control material. Furthermore, in whole human blood, the generation of ROS as well as the cytokine production were investigated by flow cytometry and by multiplex bead arrays, respectively. The production of IL-6 and TNF-α as well as the generation of ROS by immune cells of the whole blood was not induced upon contact with PEI-films. The immunological evaluation of PEI-films revealed that no substantial activation of the investigated early immune mechanisms occurred. Altogether, this data demonstrate that PEI is immuno-compatible and from that perspective may be a suitable biomaterial for cardiovascular applications.