Heparin bonding: Then and now
Blood remains fluid so long as it flows in the cardiovascular system; it clots in other situations. While this phenomenon, vascular homeostasis, has been studied for a century, the development of artificial surfaces that induce minimal or no clotting became important only with the growth of cardiovascular surgery. The advent of the graphite-benzal konium-heparin surface which employed the ionic bonding of heparin was a milestone in the effort to develop non-clotting surfaces. The technique of ionic bonding was followed over the years by the grafting of heparin molecule to surfaces and most recently, by the covalent bonding of heparin. The covalent bonding of heparin preserves the non-clotting property of prosthetic surfaces for long periods and holds promise for numerous applications in cardiovascular surgery and other branches of medicine. The introduction of covalent bonding and similar approaches will greatly improve the biocompatibility and durability of the present generation of biomedical devices.
Volume 43, 2020
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