Peptide-Functionalized Polyurethane Coatings Prepared via Grafting-To Strategy to Selectively Promote Endothelialization
Endothelialization, formation of endothelial cells (ECs) layer on cardiovascular implant surface, is considered an ideal approach to prevent restenosis (renarrowing of blood vessel mainly due to the accumulation of proliferated vascular smooth muscle cells, SMCs) and thrombosis. In this study, the possibility of using polyurethane (PU) as a coating platform for functionalization with peptide to enhance endothelialization on implants is explored. PUs are synthesized through metal-free organocatalytic polymerization followed by chemical conjugation with an EC-specific REDV peptide through thiol–ene reaction. Meanwhile, the free isocyanate groups of PU allow for covalent grafting of REDV-functionalized PU (PU/REDV) to silanize implant materials (nitinol and PET). PU/REDV coating with peptide grafting density of ≈2 nmol cm−2 selectively accommodates primary human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs) and retards spreading of primary human umbilical artery SMCs (HUASMCs). In addition, a layer of HUVECs is formed within 3 d on PU/REDV-coated surfaces, while proliferation of HUASMCs is inhibited. The selectivity is further confirmed by coculture of HUVECs and HUASMCs. Moreover, the PU/REDV-coated surfaces are less thrombogenic as evidenced by reduced number and activity of adhered platelets. Therefore, PU/REDV can be potentially used as a coating of cardiovascular implants to prevent restenosis and thrombosis by promoting endothelialization.