Ever since the role of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) in controlling a wide variety of biological functions was discovered approximately three decades back, multiple NO-releasing polymeric materials have been developed. However, most of these materials are typically short lived due to the inefficient incorporation of the NO donor molecules within the polymer matrix. In the present study, S-nitroso- N-acetyl penicillamine (SNAP) is covalently attached to poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) to create a highly stable nitric oxide (NO) releasing material for biomedical applications. By tethering SNAP to the cross-linker of PDMS, the NO donor is unable to leach into the surrounding environment. This is the first time that a sustainable NO release and bacterial inhibition for over 125 days has been achieved by any NO-releasing polymer with supporting evidence of potential long-term hemocompatibility and biocompatibility. The material proves to have very high antibacterial efficacy against Staphylococcus aureus by demonstrating a 99.99% reduction in the first 3 days in a continuous flow CDC bioreactor, whereas a similar inhibitory potential of 99.50% was maintained by the end of 1 month. Hemocompatibility of SNAP-PDMS was tested using a rabbit extracorporeal circuit (ECC) model over a 4 h period. Thrombus formation was greatly reduced within the SNAP-PDMS-coated ECCs compared to the control circuits, observing a 78% reduction in overall thrombus mass accumulation. These results demonstrate the potential of utilizing this material for blood and tissue contacting biomedical devices in long-term clinical applications where infection and unwanted clotting are major issues.
Keywords: S-nitroso-N-acetyl penicillamine; antimicrobial; bioreactor; extracorporeal circulation; hemocompatibility; nitric oxide.