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Effect of chemical structure on properties of polyurethanes: Temperature responsiveness and biocompatibility

Komez, Aylin
Buyuksungur, Senem
Hasırcı, Vasıf Nejat
Hasırcı, Nesrin
Polyurethanes are known as one of the most biocompatible and inherently blood-compatible materials and have a wide range of applications in the medical field due to their controllable structure and properties. Durability, elasticity, elastomeric structure, fatigue resistance, versatility, and easy acceptance by the biological media after the application makes these polymers preferable in medical area. In this study, polyurethane films were prepared using poly(propylene-ethylene glycol) and either toluene-2,4-diisocyanate or 4,4-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate without adding any other ingredients such as solvent, catalyst, or chain extender to prevent negative effects of leachable molecules. Mechanical tests were performed at room temperature while swelling tests were conducted in water and phosphate-buffered saline at 4 degrees C, 25 degrees C, and 37 degrees C. Temperature responsiveness was observed for the samples synthesized using toluene-2,4-diisocyanate and poly(propylene-ethylene glycol). These samples had more than 100% swelling at 4 degrees C and about 4% swelling at 25 degrees C and 37 degrees C. Cytocompatibility tests were performed by culturing the samples and their extracts with mouse fibroblast cells (L929). Viability of human umbilical vein endothelial cells was studied to examine the compatibility of the films for blood contacting devices. Both toluene-2,4-diisocyanate and 4,4-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate-based polyurethane films showed no cytotoxic effect and good biocompatibility. Oxygen plasma treatment enhanced hydrophilicity of the films. After plasma treatment, human umbilical vein endothelial cell attachment on toluene-2,4-diisocyanate-based polyurethane films improved and 4,4-methylenediphenyl diisocyanate-based polyurethane films maintained their high cell affinity. Polyurethanes presenting temperature responsiveness, high biocompatibility, and high affinity for human umbilical vein endothelial cells were synthesized in medical purity and in a reaction media involving only diisocyanate and diol components without addition of any solvent, chain extender, or catalyst. Polyurethanes with these properties and as produced in this study are reported for the first time in the literature.