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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2011 Apr;3(4):1228-37. doi: 10.1021/am200055k. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Zwitterionic sulfobetaine-grafted poly(vinylidene fluoride) membrane with highly effective blood compatibility via atmospheric plasma-induced surface copolymerization.

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R&D Center for Membrane Technology and Department of Chemical Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung-Li, Taoyuan 320, Taiwan.


Development of nonfouling membranes to prevent nonspecific protein adsorption and platelet adhesion is critical for many biomedical applications. It is always a challenge to control the surface graft copolymerization of a highly polar monomer from the highly hydrophobic surface of a fluoropolymer membrane. In this work, the blood compatibility of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes with surface-grafted electrically neutral zwitterionic poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate) (PSBMA), from atmospheric plasma-induced surface copolymerization, was studied. The effect of surface composition and graft morphology, electrical neutrality, hydrophilicity and hydration capability on blood compatibility of the membranes were determined. Blood compatibility of the zwitterionic PVDF membranes was systematically evaluated by plasma protein adsorption, platelet adhesion, plasma-clotting time, and blood cell hemolysis. It was found that the nonfouling nature and hydration capability of grafted PSBMA polymers can be effectively controlled by regulating the grafting coverage and charge balance of the PSBMA layer on the PVDF membrane surface. Even a slight charge bias in the grafted zwitterionic PSBMA layer can induce electrostatic interactions between proteins and the membrane surfaces, leading to surface protein adsorption, platelet activation, plasma clotting and blood cell hemolysis. Thus, the optimized PSBMA surface graft layer in overall charge neutrality has a high hydration capability and the best antifouling, anticoagulant, and antihemolytic activities when comes into contact with human blood.

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