Viscoelastic properties of fibrinogen adsorbed to the surface of biomaterials used in blood-contacting medical devices

Norbert Weber, Aaron Pesnell, Durgadas Bolikal, Joan Zeltinger, Joachim Kohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The hemocompatibility of polymeric vascular implants is in part dependent on the propensity of fibrinogen to adsorb to the implant surface. Fibrinogen surface adsorption was measured in real time using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D). Six new, biodegradable tyrosine-derived polycarbonates were used as test surfaces. Stainless steel, poly(L-lactic acid), poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide), and poly(ethylene terephthalate) surfaces served as controls and provided a comparison of the test surfaces with those of commonly used biomaterials. Our study addressed the question regarding to which extent systematic variations in polymer structure can be used to optimize X-ray visibility and provide tunable degradation rates while generating protein-repellant surface properties that minimize fibrinogen adsorption. QCM-D revealed surface-dependent changes in fibrinogen layer thickness (2 to 37 nm), adsorbed wet mass (0.2 to 4.3 μg/cm2), and viscosity (0.001 to 0.005 kg/ms). While we did not find an overall correlation between surface air-water contact angle measurements and fibrinogen adsorption (R2 = 0.08), our data demonstrate that gradually increasing the poly(ethylene glycol) content within a subgroup of polymers having the same polymer backbone will lead to decreased fibrinogen adsorption. Within this subgroup of polymers, there was a strong correlation between decreasing air-water contact angles and decreasing fibrinogen adsorption (R2 = 0.95). We conclude that it is possible to minimize fibrinogen adsorption to tyrosine-derived polycarbonates while optimizing X-ray visibility and degradation rates. Some of the tyrosine-derived polycarbonates were identified as useful materials for the design of blood-contacting implants on the basis of their substantially lower levels of fibrinogen adsorption relative to the commonly used controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3298-3304
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 13 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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