Poor compatibility between blood and metallic coronary artery stents is one reason for arterial restenosis. Immobilization of anticoagulant agents on the stent's surface is feasible for improving compatibility. We examined possible surface-coupling agents for anticoagulant agent immobilization. Hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI) and 3-aminopropyl-triethoxysilane (APTS) were examined as surface-coupling agents to activate 316L stainless steel (e.g., stent material). The activated surface was characterized using Fourier transformation infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), atomic force microscope (AFM), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) assay. In FTIR analysis, HMDI and APTS were both covalently linked to 316L stainless steel. In AFM analysis, it was found that the HMDI-ctctivated surface was smoother than the APTS-activated one. In SPR test, the shift of SPR angle for the APTS-activated surface was much higher than that for the HMDI-activated surface after being challenged with acidic solution. TNBS assay was used to determine the amount of immobilized primary amine groups. The HMDI-activated surface was found to consist of about 1.32 μmol/cm2 amine group, whereas the APTS-activated surface consisted of only 0.89 μmol/cm2 amine group. We conclude that the HMDI-activated surface has more desirable surface characteristics than the APTS-activated surface has, such as chemical stability and the amount of active amine groups.
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