Thrombomodulin/heparin functionalized membrane-mimetic assemblies: strategies for generating an actively anti-thrombogenic surface
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It has been postulated that the control of thrombus formation on molecularly engineered surfaces is an important step in developing clinically durable small-diameter vascular prostheses. This has led to designing a membrane-mimetic assembly that contains physiological regulators of blood coagulation, thrombomodulin (TM) and heparin, to provide strategies for generating actively antithrombogenic surfaces. The membrane-mimetic construct contains polymeric phospholipid monolayer on an alkylated polyelectrolyte multilayer supported by planar substrate such as glass or silicone. When incorporated with TM, the model platform exhibited the biological function by catalyzing activation of protein C. Surface TM activity was extensively investigated at physiologic shear rates (50 sec-1 and 500 sec-1). Significantly, reaction rates become saturated at TM surface densities greater than or equal to ~ 800 fmole/cm2 due to due to a transport limitation. Based on the similar membrane-mimetic construct, a functional heparinized surface was designed as an alternative anticoagulant system. Immobilization of heparin onto membrane-mimetic surfaces was achieved through biotin-streptavidin binding specificity. Activity of surface heparin to facilitate thrombin inactivation was investigated at shear rates of 50 and 500 sec-1. Significantly, rate of thrombin decay becomes saturated when the surface coverage of heparin is higher than 4.4 pmole of heparin per cm2. We further investigated the effects of surface bound TM and heparin on tissue factor (TF) -induced thrombin generation in a flow model. Specifically, TF positioned over a 2 x 6 mm2 upstream region as a trigger for thrombin generation and TM and/or heparin positioned over the remaining downstream (34 x 6 mm2) portion of the test film. Compared to TF alone surface, thrombin generation was profoundly reduced in the presence of surface bound TM and/or heparin. Significantly, thrombin production was maximally inhibited more than 85% in the presence of TM and heparin, possibly due to anticoagulant synergism of both anticoagulants. We believe that current membrane-mimetic systems can potentially create actively antithrombogenic surfaces.