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Biomaterials. 2006 Jun;27(16):3125-35. Epub 2006 Feb 2.

Characterizing the modification of surface proteins with poly(ethylene glycol) to interrupt platelet adhesion.

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  • 1Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China.


Surface protein modification with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) can inhibit acute thrombosis on damaged vascular and biomaterial surfaces by blocking surface protein-platelet interactions. However, the feasibility of employing protein reactive PEGs to limit intravascular and biomaterial thrombosis in vivo is contingent upon rapid and extensive surface protein modification. To characterize the factors controlling this potential therapeutic approach, the model protein bovine serum albumin was adsorbed onto polyurethane surfaces and modified with PEG-carboxymethyl succinimidyl ester (PEG-NHS), PEG-isocyanate (PEG-ISO), or PEG-diisocyanate (PEG-DISO) in aqueous buffer at varying concentrations and contact times. It was found that up to 5 PEGs could be attached per albumin molecule within one min and that adsorbed albumin PEGylation approached maximal levels by 6min. The lability of reactive PEGs in aqueous buffer reduced total protein modification by 50% when the PEG solution was incubated for 7min prior to application. For fibrinogen PEGylation (performed in the solution phase), PEG-NHS was more reactive than PEG-ISO or PEG-DISO. The gamma peptide of fibrinogen, which contains several key platelet-binding motifs, was highly modified. A marked reduction in platelet adhesion was observed on fibrinogen-adsorbed polyurethane treated with PEG-NHS or PEG-DISO. Relative differences in platelet adhesion on PEG-NHS and PEG-DISO modified surfaces could be attributed to differences in reactivity towards fibrinogen and the size of the polymer backbone. Taken together, these findings provide insight and guidance for applying protein reactive PEGs for the interruption of acute thrombotic deposition.

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