Bulk material properties and luminal surface interaction with blood determine the clinical viability of vascular grafts, and reducing intimal hyperplasia is necessary to improve their long‐term patency. Here, the authors report that the surface of a biocompatible hydrogel material, poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) can be altered by exposing it to reactive ion plasma (RIP) in order to increase primary endothelial cell attachment. The power and the carrier gas of the RIP treatment are varied and the resultant surface nitrogen, water contact angle, as well as the ability of the RIP‐treated surfaces to support primary endothelial colony forming cells is characterized. Additionally, in a clinically relevant shunt model, the amounts of platelet and fibrin attachment to the surface were quantified during exposure to non‐anticoagulated blood. Treatments with all carrier gases resulted in an increase in the surface nitrogen. Treating PVA with O2, N2, and Ar RIP increased affinity to primary endothelial colony forming cells. The RIP treatments did not increase the thrombogenicity compared to untreated PVA and had significantly less platelet and fibrin attachment compared to the current clinical standard of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). These findings indicate that RIP‐treatment of PVA could lead to increased patency in synthetic vascular grafts.
Patrick Jurney, Deirdre Anderson, Grace Pohan, Evelyn Yim, and Monica Hinds. "Reactive Ion Plasma Modification of Poly(Vinyl‐Alcohol) Increases Primary Endothelial Cell Affinity and Reduces Thrombogenicity" Macromolecular Bioscience (2018). https://doi.org/10.1002/mabi.201800132