Microbial adhesion reduction as well as platelet compatibility improvement have been suggested as the key requirements for developing blood-contacting synthetic biomaterials. Surface grafting of hydrophilic polyethylene glycol chains or alkyl chains with zwitterionic terminal ends has been proposed for reducing microbial or platelet adhesion. Nonetheless, none has been reported to incorporate both polyethylene glycol and zwitterionic terminal functionality on the same surface-grafted alkyl chain. In this investigation, a novel surface modification scheme was reported for grafting zwitterionic alkyl chains with or without polyethylene glycol as the spacer. It was noted the bacterial adhesion reduction capability on the zwitterionic modified surface was dependent upon the use of polyethylene glycol spacer or not and the strain of microbe tested. Besides, the zwitterionic modified ones all showed greater antimicrobial adhesion capability than the surface modified with polyethylene glycol alone. On the other hand, significantly reduced platelet adhesion and activation were found, but with no statistical differences noted among the polyethylene glycol-modified surface and zwitterionic ones, with or without polyethylene glycol spacer. These suggested that the use of polyethylene glycol spacer on the zwitterionic terminated surface could further enhance the antimicrobial adhesion against gram-negative bacterial while still keeping its platelet compatibility.
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