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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2158124, 10 pages
Research Article

Bioinspired Polyethersulfone Membrane Design via Blending with Functional Polyurethane

1College of Polymer Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
2Department of Nephrology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Baihai Su and Changsheng Zhao

Received 1 October 2016; Revised 28 November 2016; Accepted 27 December 2016; Published 13 February 2017

Academic Editor: Yin Chen

Copyright © 2017 Mei Han et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polyurethanes (PUs) are currently considered to be biocompatible materials but limited by a low resistance to thrombus. We therefore design a heparin-like PU (HLPU) to modify polyethersulfone (PES) membranes approaching integrated antifouling and antithrombotic properties by bioinspiration of heparin structure. Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone)-HLPU (PVP-HLPU) was synthesized via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization of VP using PU as a macroinitiator and then sulfonated by concentrated H2SO4. FTIR and NMR results demonstrated the successful synthesis of PVP-HLPU. By incorporation of PVP-HLPU, the cross-sectional structure of PES composite membranes altered from finger-like structure to sponge-like structure resulting in tunable permeability. The increased hydrophilicity verified by water contact angles benefited both the permeability and antifouling property. As a consequence, the composite membranes showed good blood compatibility, including decreased protein adsorption, suppressed platelet adhesion, lowered thrombin-antithrombin III generation, reduced complement activation, and prolonged clotting times. Interestingly, the PVP-capped HLPU showed better blood compatibility compared to polyethyleneglycol-capped and citric acid-capped HLPUs. The results demonstrated the enhanced antifouling and antithrombotic properties of PES hemodialysis membranes by the introduction of functional HLPUs. Also, the proposed method may forward the fabrication of hemocompatible membranes via bioinspired surface design.