Heparin-like functionalized polymer surfaces: discrimination between catalytic and adsorption processes during the course of thrombin inhibition

Biomaterials. 1996 May;17(9):903-12. doi: 10.1016/0142-9612(96)83286-8.


Thrombus formation on blood-contacting artificial surfaces is a major problem. Antithrombogenic polymer surfaces have been obtained either by heparin binding, or by grafting sulphonate and/or amino acid sulphonamide groups on insoluble polystyrene. In addition to their capacity to adsorb thrombin, such surfaces were shown to be able to catalyse its inhibition by antithrombin III (AT), i.e. they are endowed with heparin-like activity. The results were mainly obtained by using clotting assays. In many cases, delineating adsorption and catalytic processes by such assays is not possible when evaluating anticoagulant polymer surfaces. To overcome this problem, the kinetics of thrombin adsorption and inhibitions by AT and heparin cofactor II (HC) in the presence of such surfaces have been measured by using an assay performed with a thrombin-specific chromogenic substrate. A simple kinetic model of thrombin consumption is proposed. The relevant calculations, carried out with the help of a computer program, lead to determination of relative second order rate constants of thrombin adsorption and inhibitions by AT and HC in the presence of the polymers. In addition to thrombin adsorption, polystyrene surfaces bearing only sulphonate groups catalyse inhibition by AT, whereas polystyrene surfaces bearing either aspartate, glycinate or isophthalate sulphonamide groups catalyse both inhibitions by AT and HC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage
  • Anticoagulants / chemistry
  • Antithrombin III / pharmacology
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Catalysis
  • Heparin / administration & dosage*
  • Heparin / chemistry*
  • Heparin Cofactor II / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kinetics
  • Materials Testing
  • Models, Biological
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Polystyrenes / chemistry
  • Surface Properties
  • Thrombin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Thrombin / metabolism
  • Thrombin / pharmacokinetics
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control


  • Anticoagulants
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polymers
  • Polystyrenes
  • Heparin Cofactor II
  • Antithrombin III
  • Heparin
  • Thrombin