Platelet adhesion and activation are key events in thrombus or clot formation on blood-contacting biomaterials. Thus understanding the complex interactions between biomaterial surface properties and platelets is important for developing vascular access devices that limit thromboembolic events. Medical-grade poly(urethanes) are frequently used in blood-contacting medical devices due to their desirable mechanical properties and high level of hemocompatibility. Moreover, it has been shown that sub-platelet-sized micropatterns reduce platelet adhesion. Based on this evidence, we hypothesized that bio-inspired, antifouling Sharklet™ (SK) microtopographies replicated in biomedical thermoplastic poly(urethane) (TPU) reduce both platelet adhesion and activation compared to smooth (SM) controls.
Central Venous Catheter Protection Against Blood Infection and Blood Clotting
Sharklet uses micropattern alone – no antibiotics or chemicals – to control bacterial biofilm and prevent platelet adhesion and activation.
Catheter-related bloodstream infections are associated with 28,000 deaths in the United States every year. The presence of a venous catheter often causes blood clots, beginning with platelet adhesion and activation and ultimately causing deadly clots and embolisms. Treatments with drugs, while effective, can be associated with resistance and contamination.
A Sharklet patterned central venous catheter (CVC) would prevent platelet adhesion and activation while protecting the catheter from infection-causing biofilms. The Sharklet micropattern even inhibits biofilms of deadly fungal pathogens, species which are not affected by antibiotics or typical antimicrobial coatings.