Design of blood compatible surfaces is obligatory to minimize platelet surface interactions and improve the thromboresistance of foreign surfaces when they are utilized as biomaterials particularly for blood contacting devices. Pure metallocene polyethylene (mPE) and nitric acid (HNO3) treated mPE antithrombogenicity and hydrophilicity were investigated. The contact angle of the mPE treated with HNO3 decreased. Surface of mPE and HNO3 treated mPE investigated with FTIR revealed no major changes in its functional groups. 3D Hirox digital microscopy, SEM and AFM images show increased porosity and surface roughness. Blood coagulation assays prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) were delayed significantly (P < 0.05) for HNO3 treated mPE. Hemolysis assay and platelet adhesion of the treated surface resulted in the lysis of red blood cells and platelet adherence, respectively indicating improved hemocompatibility of HNO3 treated mPE. To determine that HNO3 does not deteriorate elastic modulus of mPE, the elastic modulus of mPE and HNO3 treated mPE was compared and the result shows no significant difference. Hence, the overall observation suggests that the novel HNO3 treated mPE may hold great promises to be exploited for blood contacting devices like grafts, catheters, and etc.
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