Poly(acrylic acid) modified polyurethane (AA/PU) membranes were prepared by UV radiation without degassing. The chemical composition of the AA/PU membrane was studied by IR spectroscopy. In addition to those absorption peaks associated with pure PU, the absorption peak at 2400 cm-1 of poly(AA) was also found. The morphology of AA/PU membrane was studied by optical polarizing microscopy. We also measured the glass transition temperature and the decomposition temperature of the AA/PU membrane by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis. A significant domain was found in the AA/PU membrane, which resulted in different glass transition temperature and decomposition temperature between AA/PU and pure PU membrane. The effect of AA content on the contact angle and water absorption of the AA/PU membrane was determined. It was found that the water content of AA/PU membrane increased with increasing AA content, whereas the contact angle decreased. By using Kaeble's equation and the contact angle data, the surface free energy of AA/PU membrane was determined. The increase of surface free energy resulted from the increase of the dispersion (gammad) term and polar (gammap) term. In order to evaluate the biocompatibility of these membranes, a cytotoxicity test and a cell adhesion and proliferation assay were conducted in cell culture. Immortal cells and primary lymphocytes were both used in this study. The results showed that these AA/PU membranes exhibited very low cytotoxicity and could support cell adhesion and growth. An animal primary test was also done in this study. It was found that the AA/PU membrane could possibly be employed in the treatment of bowel defect.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.