A bioinspired omniphobic surface coating on medical devices prevents thrombosis and biofouling


Leslie DC, Waterhouse A, Berthet JB, Valentin TM, Watters AL, Jain A, Kim P, Hatton BD, Nedder A, Donovan K, et al. A bioinspired omniphobic surface coating on medical devices prevents thrombosis and biofouling. Nature Biotechnology. 2014;32 (11) :1134-1140.


Thrombosis and biofouling of extracorporeal circuits and indwelling medical devices cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. We apply a bioinspired, omniphobic coating to tubing and catheters and show that it completely repels blood and suppresses biofilm formation. The coating is a covalently tethered, flexible molecular layer of perfluorocarbon, which holds a thin liquid film of medical-grade perfluorocarbon on the surface. This coating prevents fibrin attachment, reduces platelet adhesion and activation, suppresses biofilm formation and is stable under blood flow in vitro. Surface-coated medical-grade tubing and catheters, assembled into arteriovenous shunts and implanted in pigs, remain patent for at least 8 h without anticoagulation. This surface-coating technology could reduce the use of anticoagulants in patients and help to prevent thrombotic occlusion and biofouling of medical devices.


This work was supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency grant N66001-11-1-4180 and contract HR0011-13-C-0025, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. We thank D. Super, R. Cooper, E. Murray and J. Lee for phlebotomy, T. Ferrante for assistance with fluorescence microscopy, H. Kozakewich for assistance with histology evaluation and O. Ahanotu for assistance in preparing surfaces. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were conducted at the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University, a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, which is supported by the National Science Foundation (ECS-0335765).

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Last updated on 05/04/2018