Controlling whole blood activation and resultant clot properties on various material surfaces : a possible therapeutic approach for enhancing bone healing

Shiu, Hoi Ting (2013) Controlling whole blood activation and resultant clot properties on various material surfaces : a possible therapeutic approach for enhancing bone healing. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Injured bone initiates the healing process by forming a blood clot at the damaged site. However, in severe damage, synthetic bone implants are used to provide structural integrity and restore the healing process. The implant unavoidably comes into direct contact with whole blood, leading to a blood clot formation on its surface. Despite this, most research in bone tissue engineering virtually ignores the important role of a blood clot in supporting healing.

Surface chemistry of a biomaterial is a crucial property in mediating blood-biomaterials interactions, and hence the formation of the resultant blood clot. Surfaces presenting mixtures of functional groups carboxyl (–COOH) and methyl (–CH3) have been shown to enhance platelet response and coagulation activation, leading to the formation of fibrin fibres. In addition, it has been shown that varying the compositions of these functional groups and the length of alkyl groups further modulate the immune complement response.

In this study, we hypothesised that a biomaterial surface with mixture of –COOH/–CH3(methyl), –CH2CH3 (ethyl) or –(CH2)3CH3 (butyl) groups at different ratios would modulate blood coagulation and complement activation, and eventually tailor the structural and functional properties of the blood clot formed on the surface, which subsequently impacts new bone formation.

Firstly, we synthesised a series of materials composed of acrylic acid (AA), and methyl (MMA), ethyl (EMA) or butyl methacrylates (BMA) at different ratios and coated on the inner surfaces of incubation vials. Our surface analysis showed that the amount of –COOH groups on the surface coatings was lower than the ratios of AA prepared in the materials even though the surface content of –COOH groups increased with increasing in AA ratios. It was indicated that the surface hydrophobicity increased with increasing alkyl chain length: –CH 3 > –CH2CH3 > –(CH2)3CH3, and decreased with increasing –COOH groups. No significant differences in surface hydrophobicity was found on surfaces with –CH3 and –CH2CH3 groups in the presence of –COOH groups. The material coating was as smooth as uncoated glass and without any major flaws. The average roughness of material-coated surface (3.99 ± 0.54 nm) was slightly higher than that of uncoated glass surface (2.22 ± 0.29 nm). However, no significant differences in surface average roughness was found among surfaces with the same functionalities at different –COOH ratios nor among surfaces with different alkyl groups but the same –COOH ratios. These suggested that the surface functional groups and their compositions had a combined effect on modulating surface hydrophobicity but not surface roughness.

The second part of our study was to investigate the effect of surface functional groups and their compositions on blood cascade activation and structural properties of the formed clots. It was found that surfaces with –COOH/–(CH2)3CH3 induced a faster coagulation activation than those with –COOH/–CH3 and –CH2CH3, regardless of the –COOH ratios. An increase in –COOH ratios on –COOH/–CH3 and –CH2CH3 surfaces decreased the rate of activation. Moreover, all material-coated surfaces markedly reduced the complement activation compared to uncoated glass surfaces, and the pattern of complement activation was entirely similar to that of surface-induced coagulation, suggesting there is an interaction between two cascades. The clots formed on material-coated surfaces had thicker fibrin with a tighter network at the exterior when compared to uncoated glass surfaces. Compared to the clot exteriors, thicker fibrins with a loose network were found in clot interiors. Coated surfaces resulted in more rigid clots with a significantly slower fibrinolysis after 1 h of lysis when compared to uncoated glass surfaces. Significant differences in fibrinolysis after 1 h of lysis among clots on material-coated surfaces correlated well with the differences in fibrin thickness and density at clot exterior. In addition, more growth factors were released during clot formation than during clot lysis. From an intact clot, there was a correlation between the amount of PDGF-AB release and fibrin density. Highest amount of PDGF-AB was released from clots formed on surfaces with 40% –COOH/60% –CH 3 (i.e. 65MMA). During clot lysis, the release of PDGF-AB also correlated with the fibrinolytic rate while the release of TGF-â1 was influenced by the fibrin thickness. This suggested that different clot structures led to different release profiles of growth factors in clot intact and degrading stages.

We further validated whether the clots formed on material-coatings provide the microenvironment for improved bone healing by using a rabbit femoral defect model. In this pilot study, the implantation of clots formed on 65MMA coatings significantly increased new bone formation with enhanced chondrogenesis, osteoblasts activity and vascularisation, but decreased inflammatory macrophage number at the defects after 4 weeks when compared to commercial bone grafts ChronOSTM â-TCP granules. Empty defects were observed when blood clot formation was inhibited.

In summary, our study demonstrated that surface functional groups and their relative ratios on material coatings synergistically modulate activation of blood cascades, resultant fibrin architecture, rigidity, susceptibility to fibrinolysis as well as growth factor release of the formed clots, which ultimately alter the healing microenvironment of injured bones.

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ID Code: 63628
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Goss, Ben, Crawford, Ross W., Lutton, Cameron J., & Xiao, Yin
Keywords: bone healing, bone graft substitutes, biomaterials, biomaterial-blood interactions, biocompatibility, blood clot formation, clot lysis, coagulation, complement, fibrin network, leukocytes, platelets, platelet-derived growth factor, surface chemistry, surface functional groups
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 22 Oct 2013 05:38
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2015 03:01

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