Modulation of fibroblast inflammatory response by surface modification of a perfluorinated ionomer
An ideal surface for implantable glucose sensors would be able to evade the events leading to chronic inflammation and fibrosis, thereby extending its utility in an in vivo environment. Nafion™, a perfluorinated ionomer, is the membrane material preferred for in situ glucose sensors. Unfortunately, the surface properties of Nafion™ promote random protein adsorption and eventual foreign body encapsulation, thus leading to loss of glucose signal over time. Details of the techniques to render Nafion™ nonprotein fouling are given in a previous article [T. I. Valdes et al., Biomaterials 29, 1356 (2008)]. Once random protein adsorption is prevented, a biologically active peptide can be covalently bonded to the treated Nafion™ to induce cellular adhesion. Cellular responses to these novel decorated Nafion™ surfaces are detailed here, including cell viability, cell spreading, and type I collagen synthesis. Normal human dermal fibroblasts NHDFs) were cultured on control and modified Nafion™ surfaces. Findings indicate that Nafion™ modified with 10% 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate and 90% tetraglyme created a nonfouling surface that was subsequently decorated with the YRGDS peptide. NHDFs were shown to have exhibited decreased type I collagen production in comparison to NHDF cells on unmodified Nafion™ surfaces. Here, the authors report evidence that proves that optimizing conditions to prevent protein adsorption and enhance cellular adhesion may eliminate fibrous encapsulation of an implant.