The purpose of this study was to develop a process to achieve biodegradable chitooligosaccharide-based polyurethane (CPU) with improved hemocompatibility and mechanical properties. A series of CPUs with varying chitooligosaccharide (COS) content were prepared according to the conventional two-step method. First, the prepolymer was synthesized from poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and uniform-size diurethane diisocyanates (HBH). Then, the prepolymer was chain-extended by COS in N
-dimethylformamide (DMF) to obtain the weak-crosslinked CPU, and the corresponding films were obtained from the DMF solution by the solvent evaporation method. The uniform-size hard segments and slight crosslinking of CPU were beneficial for enhancing the mechanical properties, which were one of the essential requirements for long-term implant biomaterials. The chemical structure was characterized by FT-IR, and the influence of COS content in CPU on the physicochemical properties and hemocompatibility was extensively researched. The thermal stability studies indicated that the CPU films had lower initial decomposition temperature and higher maximum decomposition temperature than pure polyurethane (CPU-1.0) film. The ultimate stress, initial modulus, and surface hydrophilicity increased with the increment of COS content, while the strain at break and water absorption decreased, which was due to the increment of crosslinking density. The results of in vitro degradation signified that the degradation rate increased with the increasing content of COS in CPU, demonstrating that the degradation rate could be controlled by adjusting COS content. The surface hemocompatibility was examined by protein adsorption and platelet adhesion tests. It was found that the CPU films had improved resistance to protein adsorption and possessed good resistance to platelet adhesion. The slow degradation rate and good hemocompatibility of the CPUs showed great potential in blood-contacting devices. In addition, many active amino and hydroxyl groups contained in the structure of CPU could carry out further modification, which made it an excellent candidate for wide application in biomedical field.
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