Studies of Sulfonated Polyethylene for Biliary Stent Application

Mei Chuan Peng, Jui Che Lin, Chiung Yu Chen, Jiunn Jong Wu, Xi Zhang Lin

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Palliative treatment for obstructive jaundice by endoscopic biliary stent insertion is a recent commonly used method. Unfortunately, stent reobstruction may occur within 3 to 6 months as a result of bacterial adhesion and formation of biofilm. Bacterial adhesion was postulated as the initial step of stent clogging and the bacterial enzyme activity of (β-glucuronidase led to the deposition of calcium bilirubinate. In this study, surface sulfonation of the polyethylene lumen was postulated to improve the patency of the biliary stent. Surface modification with sulfonated group formation was carried out with fuming sulfuric acid containing 20 wt% sulfuric trioxide (SO3). The reaction time varied from 1 to 3 h at room temperature. ATR-FTIR and ESCA techniques showed that the surface amount of sulfonated functionalities increased with sulfonation time. The contact angle of the sulfonated PE, determined by the sessile drop technique, decreased compared to that of unmodified PE, but cannot be detected by the captive bubble method because of the high surface hydrophilicity. SEM micrographs indicated that the sulfonated PE inner lumen remained relatively smooth after extended sulfonation reaction. Adhesion of Escherichia coli to the sulfonated PE stents after 48-h bile perfusion was about 10- to 20-fold less than that to the unmodified PE, as observed by SEM and surface spreading method. These results indicated that the surface sulfonated groups could effectively decrease the adhesion of E. coli in human bile, probably attributable to the hydrophilic repellence between the bacterial cell membrane and sulfonated groups. This finding suggested that the sulfonated PE tubing could prolong the patency period of plastic stents and may be of great potential as a biliary stent in a real clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2450-2457
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 May 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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