Contact activation of the plasma coagulation cascade. I. Procoagulant surface chemistry and energy

Erwin A. Vogler, Jane C. Graper, Garry R. Harper, Harry W. Sugg, Lorraine M. Lander, William J. Brittain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Contact activation of the intrinsic pathway of porcine blood plasma coagulation is shown to be a steep exponential‐like function of procoagulant surface energy, with low activation observed for poorly water‐wettable surfaces and very high activation for fully water‐wettable surfaces. Test procoagulants studied were a system of oxidized polystyrene films with varying wettability (surface energy) and glass discs bearing close‐packed self‐assembled silane monolayers (SAMs) with well‐defined chemistry consisting of 12 different terminating chemical functionalities. A monotonic trend of increasing coagulation activation with increasing water wettability was observed for the oxidized polystyrene system whereas results with SAM procoagulants suggested a level of chemical specificity over and above the surface energy trend. In particular, it was noted that coagulation activation by SAMs terminated with CO2H was much higher than anticipated based on surface wettability whereas NH3⊕‐terminated SAMs exhibited very low procoagulant activity. SAMs terminated in (CH2)2(CF2)7CF3 behaved as anticipated based on surface energy with very low procoagulant activity and did not exhibit special properties sometimes attributed to perfluorinated compounds. Quantitative ranking of the inherent coagulation activation properties of procoagulant surfaces was obtained by application of a straightforward phenomenological model expressed in a closed‐form mathematical equation relating coagulation time to procoagulant surface area. Fit of the model with a single adjustable parameter to experimental measurements of porcine platelet‐poor plasma coagulation time was very good, implying that assertions and simplifications of the model adequately simulated reality. Two important propositions of the model were that (1) the number of putative “activating sites” scaled linearly with procoagulant surface area, and (2) contact activation of the plasma coagulation cascade was catalytic in the sense that these activating sites were not consumed or “poisoned” by irreversible or slowly reversible protein adsorption during coagulation. An extension of the coagulation model proposed that procoagulant activation properties scale exponentially with the surface density of polar (acid‐base) sites, which, in turn, was related to procoagulant wettability. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1016
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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