The haemocompatibility of polyurethane-hyaluronic acid copolymers

Biomaterials. 2008 Jan;29(2):150-60. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2007.09.028. Epub 2007 Oct 23.


Despite decades of research into haemocompatible biomaterials, there remain surprisingly few materials that can be used in blood-contacting applications. We have synthesized copolymers of polyurethane (PU) with hyaluronic acid (HA) with the goal of creating materials that incorporate an inherently non-thrombogenic, biological component into the bulk polymer structure. HA was incorporated into the polymer backbone as a chain extender during PU synthesis, and the physical and biological properties of the resulting copolymer were directly controlled by the HA content. Increases in HA content led to a linear increase in hydrophilicity (R(2)=0.993) and corresponding increase in surface energy compared to PU controls. Elastic modulus also increased with HA content (p<0.001), while surface roughness did not significantly differ from PU controls for most PU-HA formulations. Incorporation of HA resulted in negligible platelet adhesion to the PU-HA (p<0.001), representing a 20-fold decrease in platelet adhesion compared to PU. Red blood cell adhesion also decreased with increasing HA content (p<0.001). The PU-HA materials were cytocompatible and supported endothelial cell adhesion and viability. Thus, we have demonstrated the synthesis of a copolymer whose physical and biological properties are easily tailored, and whose potent anti-thrombogenic properties demonstrate its great promise for use in vascular applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / chemical synthesis
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Blood Platelets / cytology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Erythrocytes / cytology
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / chemistry*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polyurethanes / chemistry*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Surface Properties


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polyurethanes
  • Hyaluronic Acid