Green Solvent-Based Antifouling Polymer Brushes Demonstrate Excellent Hemocompatibility

Medical devices are crucial for patient care, yet even the best biomaterials lead to infections and unwanted activation of blood coagulation, potentially being life-threatening. While hydrophilic polymer brushes are the best coatings to mitigate these issues, their reliance on fossil raw materials underscores the urgency of bio-based alternatives. In this work, we introduce polymer brushes of a green solvent-based monomer, prohibiting protein adsorption, bacterial colonization, and blood clot formation at the same level as fossil-based polymer brushes. The polymer brushes are composed of N,N-dimethyl lactamide acrylate (DMLA), can be polymerized in a controlled manner, and show strong hydrophilicity as determined by thermodynamic analysis of the surface tension components. The contact of various challenging protein solutions results in repellency on the poly(DMLA) brushes. Furthermore, the poly(DMLA) brushes completely prevent the adhesion and colonization of Escherichia coli. Remarkably, upon blood contact, the poly(DMLA) brushes successfully prevent the formation of a fibrin network and leukocyte adhesion on the surface. While showcasing excellent antifouling properties similar to those of N-hydroxypropyl methacrylamide (HPMA) polymer brushes as one of the best antifouling coatings, the absence of hydroxyl groups prevents activation of the complement system in blood. We envision the polymer brushes to contribute to the future of hemocompatible coatings.

Publication year: 2023
Authors: Englert J. 1,2, Palà M. 3, Witzdam L. 1,4,5, Rayatdoost F. 6, Grottke O. 6, Lligadas G. 3, Rodriguez-Emmenegger C. 1,5,7,8

1 – DWI─Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, Forckenbeckstraße 50, 52074 Aachen, Germany
2 – Chair of Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University, 52074 Aachen, Germany
3 – Laboratory of Sustainable Polymers, Department of Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, University Rovira i Virgili, C/Marcel·lí Domingo 1, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
4 – Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, RWTH Aachen University, Worringerweg 2, 52074 Aachen, Germany
5 – Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Carrer de Baldiri Reixac 10-12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
6 – Department of Anesthesiology, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, 52074 Aachen, Germany
7 – Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Passeig Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
8 – Biomedical Research Networking, Center in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, The Institute of Health Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain

Published in: Langmuir, 2023, Vol. 39(50), p. 18476-18485
DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.3c02765


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