Improving the biocompatibility of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) vascular grafts is an important task for avoiding thrombus formation. Therefore, SO2
plasma at various treatment periods were used to modify PET surface properties by forming sulfate functional groups. These groups were shown to act antithrombogenically, ensuring good hemocompatibility of the materials, although the biocompatibility of such materials still remains a mystery. For this reason, the adhesion and viability of HUVEC cells on SO2
plasma-modified PET surfaces were studied, and the possible toxicity of the tested material was determined using two different assays, MTT (metabolic activity assay) and SRB (in-vitro toxicology assay). Changes in chemical composition, morphology and wettability were determined as well. Improved endothelialization was observed for all plasma-treated samples, with the most optimal being the sample treated for 80 s, which can be explained by it having the best combination of surface functionalization, roughness and morphology. Furthermore, toxicity was observed to some extent on the sample treated for 160 s, indicating the lowest cell density among the plasma-treated samples. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy showed increased oxygen and sulfur content on the surface, which was independent on treatment time. Surface roughness of the plasma-treated samples increased, reaching its maximum after 80 s of treatment, and decreased thereafter.
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