TENG XUE AND NATHAN WEISSProblematic blood clots can form on medical devices, such as artificial heart valves. And anti-thrombotic agents added to medical devices are eventually used up. Scientists reported in Nature Communications this week (February 11) on a potential solution: a coating that catalyzes the production of anti-clotting molecules in blood without the need to add reagents.
The platform supporting the catalysts is made of graphene, a single layer mesh of carbon atoms. Attached to the mesh are hemin molecules and glucose oxidase enzymes, which use L-arginine and glucose present in the blood to produce nitroxyl, an anti-clotting molecule. “The embedment of such tandem catalysts into biocompatible films can create a surface coating with excellent antiplatelet characteristics,” the authors wrote in their study.
Importantly, the generation of nitroxyls is sustained without needing to replenish the coating. According to a press release, the authors show that “blood clotting on a plastic film coated with their material is substantially reduced and remains so even after three days.”