To improve the blood compatibility and endothelialization simultaneously and to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the cardiovascular implants, we developed a surface modification method, enabling the coimmobilization of biomolecules to metal surfaces. In the present study, a heparin and fibronectin mixture (Hep/Fn) covalently immobilized on a titanium (Ti) substrate for biocompatibility was investigated. Different systems [N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide and N-hydroxysuccinimide, electrostatic] were used for the formation of Hep/Fn layers. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed that the roughness of the silanized Ti surface decreased after the immobilization of Hep/Fn. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Toluidine Blue O (TBO) test, and immunochemistry assay showed that Hep/Fn mixture was successfully immobilized on Ti surface. Blood compatibility tests (hemolysis rate, APTT, platelet adhesion, fibrinogen conformational change) showed that the coimmobilized films of Hep/Fn mixture reduced blood hemolysis rate, prolonged blood coagulation time, reduced platelets activation and aggregation, and induced less fibrinogen conformational change compared with a bare Ti surface. Endothelial cell (EC) seeding showed more EC with better morphology on pH 4 samples than on pH 7 and EDC/NHS samples, which showed rounded and aggregated cells. Systematic evaluation showed that the pH 4 samples also had much better blood compatibility. All results suggest that the coimmobilized films of Hep/Fn can confer excellent antithrombotic properties and with good endothelialization. We envisage that this method will provide a potential and effective solution for the surface modification of cardiovascular implant materials.
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