Semi-interpenetrating polymer networks incorporating polygalacturonic acid for medical device applications

A. N. O'Carroll, C. P. McCoy, L. Carson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Background Over 20 million people in the US are living with an implantable medical device [ADDIN RW.CITE{{3114 Higgins,DavidM 2009}}1], with similar figures anticipated for Europe. Complications in the use of medical implants include the Foreign Body Response (FBR) characterised by macrophage adherence and fusion, and device-related infection due to bacterial biofilm formationADDIN RW.CITE{{3124 Harding,JacquelineL 2014}}2. Both can have detrimental consequences on the structural and functional integrity of the medical device [ADDIN RW.CITE{{3101 Anderson,JamesM 2008; 3124 Harding,JacquelineL 2014}}2,3], often necessitating removal; a painful and expensive procedure [ADDIN RW.CITE{{3121 Mah,Thien-FahC 2001}}4]. Materials are sought to attenuate both the FBR and device-related infection, leading to medical devices with improved biocompatibility and performance. Objectives The present work involves development of a semi-interpenetrating network (SIPN) hydrogel containing polygalacturonic acid (PGA), a biopolysaccharide similar in structure to hyaluronic acid. We aim to synthesise, characterise and determine the in vitro biocompatibility of the developed SIPN. Results & Discussion We have successfully incorporated PGA into a poly(HEMA) based hydrogel, which shows favourable swelling and wettability. The surface topography appears altered in comparison to the control material, with pronounced micrometer-scale features. In terms of in vitro performance, the SIPN showed increased protein adsorption, and biofilm formation (Staphylococcus epidermidis and Escherichia coli, up to 1 Log CFU/sample greater than control). However the SIPN displayed minimal cytotoxicity towards L929 fibroblasts, and was resistant to the adherence of RAW 264.7 macrophages. Conclusions The PGA incorporated SIPN lacks cytotoxicity and shows reduced macrophage adherence, however the increased biofilm formation highlights a concern regarding possible device related infection in clinical use. Future work will focus on strategies to reduce bacterial adherence, while maintaining biocompatibility.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2014
EventMolecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) Education and Training Annual Scientific Meeting - Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 12 Mar 2014 → …


ConferenceMolecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) Education and Training Annual Scientific Meeting
Period12/03/2014 → …

Bibliographical note

Reference PP19


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