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Biomaterials. 1995 May;16(8):593-9.

Permeability and blood compatibility properties of chitosan-poly(ethylene oxide) blend membranes for haemodialysis.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Chitosan-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) blend membranes, using different molecular weights of PEO, were developed for improved permeability and blood compatibility. The equilibrium hydration increased from 44.7% for chitosan to 62.5% for chitosan-PEO blend membranes when the molecular weight of PEO was 10,000 (10K) or higher. An increase in the hydration of PEO blend membranes was due to intermolecular association between PEO and chitosan chains. Scanning electron microscopy showed that chitosan-PEO membranes were highly porous with size ranging from 50 to 80 nm in diameter observed in membranes made with PEO10K. Electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis suggested an increase in PEO on the membrane surface with increasing molecular weight in the blend. The permeability coefficient of urea increased from 5.47 x 10(-5) cm2 min-1 in chitosan to 9.86 x 10(-5) cm2 min-1 in chitosan-PEO10K membranes. The increase in permeability coefficient could be either due to an increase in the hydrophilicity or the high porosity of the membranes. Although chitosan-PEO membranes did not prevent serum complement activation, platelet adhesion and activation were significantly reduced. Chitosan-PEO blend membranes, therefore, appear to be beneficial in improving the permeability of toxic metabolites and in reducing the thrombogenicity for haemodialysis.

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