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Abstract

Interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and a polyether substituted polysiloxane were synthesized containing variations of PEO content (35 and 65% dry network weight) and PEO systematically varied from low to high molecular weight (2,000, 8,000, and 20,000). Biocompatibility was assessed by measureing 111In platelet deposition in a baboon femoral ex vivo shunt. Mass transfer analysis revealed that platelet transport to PEO/polysiloxane surfaces was kinetically limited and correlated with both PEO content and molecular weight. Differences in material performance were noted particularly after the initial 30 min blood contact period. In mid and high PEO molecular weight networks (8,000 and 20,000), reduced platelet deposition was noted with increased PEO content. In materials of high PEO content (65%), mid and high PEO molecular weight samples had significantly lower levels of platelet adsorption than PDMS (60 min; p< 0.05) or networks of low PEO molecular weight, coded 2K-65 (30 and 60 min; p < 0.05). The lowest level of platelet deposition was noted on 20K-65 networks, less than one platelet per 1,000 μm2.