Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Biopolymer - designer interfaces between biological and artificial systems

In their recently published review article in the Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, Yasuhiko Iwasaki at Kansai University and Kazuhiko Ishihara at the University of Tokyo describe how developments in synthesis techniques have liberated the polymer MPC’s potential for a huge range of medical and biological applications.

A polymer inspired by the lipids in cell membranes is proving an invaluable biomaterial. Like the cell membrane, the polymer 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) can provide a surface for biological reactions to take place, but it can also suppress unfavourable processes.

In their recently published review article, Yasuhiko Iwasaki at Kansai University and Kazuhiko Ishihara at the University of Tokyo in Japan describe how developments in synthesis techniques by showing that the 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) have liberated the polymer’s potential for a huge range of medical and biological applications.

In fact the polymers were already attracting interest in the early 1970s. However until more facile synthesis techniques were developed investigations were limited and the polymer was little understood. By 1999 MPC polymers were being produced on an industrial scale, allowing more substantial studies. MPC is easily polymerized in a range of architectures. The chemical can suppress reactions such as protein adsorption and cell adhesion and has a high and readily adjustable solubility in water. These versatile properties lend MPC polymers to a range of applications.

The authors also describe methods for generating the polymer for effective use in non-fouling coatings. Formed into poly(MPC) brush structures with specified chain architectures, they can also be used as surfaces for controlling cell functions. In addition, the researchers explain how surface modifications with MPC polymers are effective in improving blood compatibility. The polymers can suppress protein adsorption, platelet adhesion, and platelet activation at blood-contacting surfaces and they can also be solute permeable. As such they are well suited for coating cardiovascular applications such as stents, cardiopulmonary bypasses, and ventricular assist devices.

Based on the fact that “MPC and various kinds of MPC polymers are now available commercially worldwide, and many medical devices treated with MPC polymers are used in clinics,” they underline how far research into applications of MPC has advanced, and indicate how many possibilities remain for exploiting the chemical further.

Media contacts:
Mikiko Tanifuji, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Japan
Tel. +81-(0)29-859-2494

Journal information
Yasuhiko Iwasaki (1) and Kazuhiko Ishihara (2) Cell membrane-inspired phospholipid polymers for developing medical devices with excellent biointerfaces, Science and Technology of Advanced Materials Vol. 13 (2012) p. 064101 (doi:10.1088/1468-6996/13/6/064101).

Authors Affiliation
1. Department of Chemistry and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Chemistry, Materials and Bioengineering, Kansai University, 3-3-35 Yamate-cho, Suita-shi, Osaka 564-8680, Japan

*E-mail address:

2. Department of Materials Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

*E-mail address:

Mikiko Tanifuji | Research asia research news
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years
27.10.2016 | University of California - Los Angeles

nachricht 3-D-printed structures shrink when heated
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>