Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyurethane (PU) and silicone are widely known biocompatible polymers which are commonly used for vascular grafts. However, in vitro and in vivo calcifications of these polymers have been found to seriously compromise their quality as biomaterials. In consideration of this problem, the present study compared the calcification rate and extent of PTFE, PU and silicone. Using the in vitro flow-type method, PTFE, PU and silicone films were tested for 1, 4, 7, 10, 14 and 21 days. After 21 days of in vitro calcification test, the calcium levels on PTFE, PU and silicone were 35.89 +/- 5.01 microg/cm2, 23.73 +/- 0.68 microg/cm2 and 19.86 +/- 5.28 microg/cm2, respectively. The higher observed calcium level for PTFE may be due to the effect of the rough surface of PTFE in accumulating calcium ions on the polymer surface. From the 7th day of test, the [Ca]/[P] molar ratio started to decrease over time, and PTFE showed a faster calcification process. This decreasing [Ca]/[P] molar ratio demonstrated the typical calcification mechanism consisting of phosphorus ion accumulation following calcium ion accumulation. This study concluded that PU and silicone are less calcified than PTFE film, a finding in good agreement with previously published studies.
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