Fumio Asai, Takahiro Seki, Ayae Sugawara-Narutaki, Kazuhide Sato, Jérémy Odent, Olivier Coulembier, Jean-Marie Raquez, and Yukikazu Takeoka
Poly(2-methoxyethyl acrylate) (PMEA) has attracted attention as a biocompatible polymer that is used as an antithrombotic coating agent for medical devices, such as during artificial heart and lung fabrication. However, PMEA is a viscous liquid polymer with low Tg, and its physical strength is poor even if a cross-linker is used, so it is difficult to make tough and freestanding objects from it. Here, we design and fabricate a biocompatible elastomer made of tough, self-supporting PMEA−silica composites. The toughness of the composite elastomer increases as a function of silica particle filling, and its stress at break is improved from 0.3 to 6.7 MPa. The fracture energy of the composite elastomer with 39.5 vol % silica particles is up to 15 times higher than that of the cross-linked PMEA with no silica particles and the material demonstrates stress−strain behavior that is similar to that of biological soft tissue, which exhibits nonlinear elasticity. In addition, the composite elastomer shows the potential to be an antithrombotic property, while the results of the platelet adhesion test of the composite elastomer show that the number of adhered platelets is not significantly affected by the silica addition. As the composite elastomer can be rapidly three-dimensionalprinted into complex geometries with high-resolution features, it is expected to contribute to the development of medical devices from readily available materials.