Date of this Version
Synthetic materials for use in blood contacting applications have been studied for many years with limited success. One of the main areas of need for these materials is the design of synthetic vascular grafts for use in the hundreds of thousands of patients who have coronary artery bypass grafting, many without suitable veins for autologous grafts. The design of these grafts is constrained by two common modes of failure, the formation of intimal hyperplasia (IH) and thrombosis. IH formation has been previously linked to a mismatching of the mechanical properties of the graft and has been overcome by creating grafts using materials whose compliance mimics that of the native artery. Several techniques and surface modification have been designed to limit thrombosis on the surface of these synthetic materials. One which has shown the greatest promise is the immobilization of Thrombomodulin (TM), a protein found on the endothelial cell membrane lining native blood vessels involved in the activation of the anticoagulant Protein C (PC). While TM immobilization has been shown to arrest thrombin formation and limit fibrous formations in in-vitro and in-vivo experiments, it has shown to be transport limiting under arterial flow. On the endothelial cell surface, TM is co-localized with Endothelial Protein C Receptor (EPCR), which increases PC transport onto the cell surface and increases PC activation via TM between 20-100 fold. This dissertation will describe the chemical modification of medical grade polyurethane (PU), whose compliance has been shown to match that of native arteries. This modification will enable the immobilization of two proteins on an enzymatically relevant scale estimated at less than 10 nm. This dissertation will further describe the immobilization of the proteins TM and EPCR, and analyze the ability of a surface co-immobilized with these proteins to activate the anticoagulant PC. Finally, it will compare the ability of this co-immobilized surface to delay fibrous clot formation when compared to unmodified PU, albumin or heparin coated surfaces.