Effects of molecular architecture of phospholipid polymers on surface modification of segmented polyurethanes

<div><p>To modify the surface properties of segmented polyurethane (SPU), effects of the molecular architecture of the 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) polymers on the performance of the SPU/MPC polymer membrane were investigated. We combined the random-type, block-type, and graft-type of the MPC polymers with a typical SPU, Tecoflex<sup>®</sup> using double solution casting procedure. The graft-type MPC polymers composed of a poly(MPC) main chain and poly(2-ethylhexyl methacrylate (EHMA)) side chains were synthesized through the combination of two different living radical polymerization techniques to regulate the density and chain length of the side chains. The SPU membranes modified with the MPC polymers were characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results revealed that the MPC units were located on the SPU surface. Although the breaking strength of the SPU membranes modified with block-type poly(MPC-block-EHMA) and graft-type poly(MPC-graft-EHMA) was lower than that of SPU membranes modified with random-type poly(MPC-random-EHMA), their breaking strengths were adequate for manufacturing medical devices. On the other hand, better stability was observed in the MPC polymer layer on the SPU membrane after immersion in an aqueous medium, wherein the SPU membrane had been modified with the poly(MPC-<i>graft</i>-EHMA). This was because of the intermixing of the hydrophobic poly(EHMA) segments in the domain of the hard segments in the SPU membrane. After this modification, each SPU/MPC polymer membrane showed hydrophilic nature based on the MPC polymers and a dramatic suppression of protein adsorption. From these results, we concluded that the SPU membrane modified with the poly(MPC-<i>graft</i>-EHMA) was one of the promising polymeric biomaterials for making blood-contacting medical devices.</p></div>