Visualizing a Nanoscale Lubricant Layer under Blood Flow

Jun Ki Hong, Isaac J. Gresham, Dan Daniel, Anna Waterhouse*, Chiara Neto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tethered-liquid perfluorocarbons (TLPs) are a class of liquid-infused surfaces with the ability to reduce blood clot formation (thrombosis) on blood-contacting medical devices. TLP comprises a tethered perfluorocarbon (TP) infused with a liquid perfluorocarbon (LP); this LP must be retained to maintain the antithrombotic properties of the layer. However, the stability of the LP layer remains in question, particularly for medical devices under blood flow. In this study, the lubricant thickness is spatially mapped and quantified in situ through confocal dual-wavelength reflection interference contrast microscopy. TLP coatings prepared on glass substrates are exposed to the flow of 37% glycerol/water mixtures (v/v) or whole blood at a shear strain rate of around 2900 s-1 to mimic physiological conditions (similar to flow conditions found in coronary arteries). Excess lubricant (>2 μm film thickness) is removed upon commencement of flow. For untreated glass, the lubricant is completely depleted after 1 min of shear flow. However, on optimized TLP surfaces, nanoscale films of lubricants (thickness between 100 nm and 2 μm) are retained over many tens of minutes of flow. The nanoscale films conform to the underlying structure of the TP layer and are sufficient to prevent the adhesion of red blood cells and platelets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56433-56441
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 6 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.


  • antithrombogenic materials
  • biointerface
  • biomaterials
  • confocal interferometry
  • liquid-infused surfaces
  • tethered-liquid perfluorocarbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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