Reduced cell attachment to poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-coated ventricular catheters in vitro

Brian W. Hanak, Chia Yun Hsieh, William Donaldson, Samuel R. Browd, Kenneth K.S. Lau, William Shain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The majority of patients with hydrocephalus are dependent on ventriculoperitoneal shunts for diversion of excess cerebrospinal fluid. Unfortunately, these shunts are failure-prone and over half of all life-threatening pediatric failures are caused by obstruction of the ventricular catheter by the brain's resident immune cells, reactive microglia and astrocytes. Poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) hydrogels are widely used for biomedical implants. The extreme hydrophilicity of PHEMA confers resistance to protein fouling, making it a strong candidate coating for ventricular catheters. With the advent of initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD), a solvent-free coating technology that creates a polymer in thin film form on a substrate surface by introducing gaseous reactant species into a vacuum reactor, it is now possible to apply uniform polymer coatings on complex three-dimensional substrate surfaces. iCVD was utilized to coat commercially available ventricular catheters with PHEMA. The chemical structure was confirmed on catheter surfaces using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. PHEMA coating morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscopy. Testing PHEMA-coated catheters against uncoated clinical-grade catheters in an in vitro hydrocephalus catheter bioreactor containing co-cultured astrocytes and microglia revealed significant reductions in cell attachment to PHEMA-coated catheters at both 17-day and 6-week time points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1268-1279
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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