Preparation, characterization, and silanization of 3D microporous PDMS structure with properly sized pores for endothelial cell culture

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Nowadays, application of porous polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) structure in biomedical is becoming widespread, and many methods have been established to create such structure. Although the pores created through these methods are mostly developed on the outer surface of PDMS membrane, this study offers a simple and cost-efficient technique for creating three-dimensional (3D) microporous PDMS structure with appropriate pore size for endothelial cell culture. In this study, combination of gas foaming and particulate leaching methods, with NaHCO3 as effervescent salt and NaCl as progen are used to form a 3D PDMS sponge. The in situ chemical reaction between NaHCO3 and HCl resulted in the formation of small pores and channels. Moreover, soaking the samples in HCl solution temporarily improved the hydrophilicity of PDMS, which then facilitated the penetration of water for further leaching of NaCl. The surface chemical modification process was performed by (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane to culture endothelial cells on porous PDMS matrix. The results are an indication of positive response of endothelial cells to the fabricated PDMS sponge. Because of simplicity and practicality of this method for preparing PDMS sponge with appropriate pore size and biological properties, the fabricated matrix can perfectly be applied to future studies in blood-contacting devices.

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