Platelet adhesion on an oxygenator membrane is associated with thrombocytopenia or thrombus formation during extra-corporeal circulation. The authors evaluated protein adsorption and platelet adhesion on three oxygenator hollow fiber membranes fabricated with polypropylene, silicone, and double layer polyolefin. Adsorbed proteins were analyzed by bicinchoninic acid protein assay, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and Western blot. Platelet adhesion was assessed with enzyme immunoassays using monoclonal antibodies directed against CD42b and CD61. After 3 hr of incubation at 37°C in whole blood, the amount of adsorbed protein was the least on silicone and increased from silicone < double polyolefin < polypropylene. The adsorbed protein pattern was similar; however, silicone showed less adsorption for all protein bands, and the γ; chain of fibrinogen was not detected. In contrast, double polyolefin showed the highest fibrinogen adsorption. The optical density at a wavelength of 450 nm for CD42b was 1.47 ± 0.35 in polypropylene, 1.16 ± 0.38 in silicone, and 1.85 ± 0.19 in double polyolefin (p < 0.01 vs silicone) and for CD61 0.98 ± 0.39 in polypropylene, 0.91 ± 0.22 in silicone, and 1.69 ± 0.25 in double polyolefin (p < 0.01 vs silicone and polypropylene). These data suggest that silicone is advantageous for long term extracorporeal respiratory support in terms of less platelet adhesion and no plasma leakage through the pores.
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