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Screening platelet-surface interactions using negative surface charge gradients.


Negative surface charge density gradients were prepared on fused silica slides using selective oxidation of a 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MTS) monolayer converting surface thiol groups (-SH) into negatively charged sulfonate (-SO(-)) groups. The sulfonate-to-thiol gradient samples were characterized by water contact angle and electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA). Gradients were pre-adsorbed with proteins from three different solutions: platelet free plasma (PFP), fibrinogen, or albumin in phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Washed platelets were perfused over gradient samples in a parallel plate flow chamber and platelet adhesion was measured across the gradients using differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. Gradients pre-adsorbed with PFP showed adhesion contrast inversely related to the negative surface charge density. The magnitude of the adhesion contrast along the gradient was also dependent on PFP concentration. Gradients pre-adsorbed with fibrinogen showed an adhesion maximum in the center of the gradient region. Albumin coating of the gradients resulted in low overall platelet adhesion with increased adhesion in regions of high negative charge density. The effect of gradient orientation with respect to the flow was also investigated. Gradients pre-adsorbed with 10% PFP showed different adhesion contrast when the platelets were perfused in opposite directions. This suggests that platelet adhesion is, in addition to responding to the local surface properties, also dependent on the upstream condition