Simultaneous control of the mechanical properties and adhesion of human umbilical vein endothelial cells to suppress platelet adhesion on a supramolecular substrate†
The demand for artificial blood vessels to treat vascular disease will continue to increase in the future. To expand the application of blood-compatible poly(2-methoxyethyl acrylate) (pMEA) to artificial blood vessels, control of the mechanical properties of pMEA is established using supramolecular cross-links based on inclusion complexation of acetylated cyclodextrin. The mechanical properties, such as Young's modulus and toughness, of these pMEA-based elastomers change with the amount of cross-links, maintaining tissue-like behavior (J-shaped stress–strain curve). Regardless of the cross-links, the pMEA-based elastomers exhibit low platelet adhesion properties (approximately 3% platelet adherence) compared with those of poly(ethylene terephthalate), which is one of the commercialized materials for artificial blood vessels. Contact angle measurements imply a shift of supramolecular cross-links in response to the surrounding environment. When immersed in water, hydrophobic supramolecular cross-links are buried within the interior of the materials, thereby exposing pMEA chains to the aqueous environment; this is why supramolecular cross-links do not affect the platelet adhesion properties. In addition, the elastomers exhibit stable adhesion to human umbilical vein endothelial cells. This report shows the potential of combining supramolecular cross-links and pMEA.