Nanotopography of Polystyrene/Poly(methyl methacrylate) for the Promotion of Patient Specific Von Willebrand Factor Entrapment and Platelet Adhesion in a Whole Blood Microfluidic Assay

Joanna Ward, Eimear Dunne, Ingmar Schoen, A Boyd, Dermot Kenny, BJ Meenan

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Abstract

Platelet function testing is essential for the diagnosis of patients with bleeding disorders. Specifically, there is a need for a whole blood assay that is capable of analysing platelet behaviour in contact with a patient-specific autologous von Willebrand factor (vWF), under physiologically relevant conditions. The creation of surface topography capable of entrapping and uncoiling vWF for the support of subsequent platelet adhesion within the same blood sample offers a potential basis for such an assay. In this study, spin coating of polystyrene/poly (methyl methacrylate) (PS/PMMA) demixed solutions onto glass substrates in air has been used to attain surfaces with well-defined topographical features. The effect of augmenting the PS/PMMA solution with uniform 50 µm PS microspheres that can moderate the demixing process on the resultant surface features has also been investigated. The topographical features created here by spin coating under ambient air pressure conditions, rather than in nitrogen, which previous work reports, produces substrate surfaces with the ability to entrap vWF from flowing blood and facilitate platelet adhesion. The direct optical visualisation of fluorescently-labelled platelets indicates that topography resulting from inclusion of PS microspheres in the PS/PMMA spin coating solution increases the total number of platelets that adhere to the substrate surface over the period of the microfluidic assay. However, a detailed analysis of the adhesion rate, mean translocating velocity, mean translocation distance, and fraction of the stably adhered platelets measured during blood flow under arterial equivalent mechanical shear conditions indicates no significant difference for topographies created with or without inclusion of the PS microspheres.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1580
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPolymers
Volume15
Issue number6
Early online date22 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 22 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
J.W. acknowledges support of a funded PhD studentship from the Department for the Economy (DfE), Northern Ireland.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • surface nanotopography
  • Spin coating
  • platelet tracking algorithm
  • dynamic platelet function assay
  • polymer demixing
  • spin coating

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