Introduction of Nature’s Complexity in Engineered Blood-compatible Biomaterials

Bastiaan D Ippel, Patricia Y W Dankers

Published: 10/01/2018


Biomaterials with excellent blood-compatibility are needed for applications in vascular replacement therapies, such as vascular grafts, heart valves and stents, and in extracorporeal devices such as hemodialysis machines and blood-storage bags. The modification of materials that are being used for blood-contacting devices has advanced from passive surface modifications to the design of more complex, smart biomaterials that respond to relevant stimuli from blood to counteract coagulation. Logically, the main source of inspiration for the design of new biomaterials has been the endogenous endothelium. Endothelial regulation of hemostasis is complex and involves a delicate interplay of structural components and feedback mechanisms. Thus, challenges to develop new strategies for blood-compatible biomaterials now lie in incorporating true feedback controlled mechanisms that can regulate blood compatibility in a dynamic way. Here, supramolecular material systems are highlighted as they provide a promising platform to introduce dynamic reciprocity, due to their inherent dynamic nature.

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