Vertellus® Biomaterials

is a business unit of Vertellus Specialties UK Ltd, which is part of the Health and Specialty Products Division of Vertellus Specialties Inc. The aim of the work with partners is to supply biocompatible materials to improve the clinical performance of medical devices, thereby improving the patient’s quality of life. While the main focus area for Vertellus Biomaterials continues to be medical device and drug delivery applications, Vertellus is also investing in novel materials for new applications outside of healthcare.

Mode of Action Summary

PC is short for phosphorylcholine, the chemical name of a polar head group found in many phospholipids, particularly those that form the bi-layers that make up cell membranes. PC is zwitterionic; that is it contains both positive and negative charges but is overall electrochemically neutral within a wide pH range. The high polarity of the PC group causes water to be tightly bound by materials containing PC and it is principally this property which results in biocompatibility.

PC Technology is a proprietary platform of methacrylate polymers incorporating phosphorylcholine. These biomimetic materials build upon the body’s own chemistry but are totally synthetic, allowing precise control over the purity profile. They can provide an elegant solution to biocompatibility challenges for medical devices and can be tailored to specific application needs. For example, PC materials are available as coatings, bulk materials, gels and solutions and properties such as water content, elasticity and hardness can easily be varied. Several of these systems have been successfully used to enable the localised delivery of drugs.

Currently, the main focus for Vertellus Biomaterials lies in the medical device and drug delivery area and Vertellus continues to invest in novel materials for new applications. However they are also exploring other, non-healthcare areas where the anti-fouling and surfactant properties of PC can bring benefits. EIM Medical together with Vertellus are always interested in discussing potential collaboration with partners who recognise the value of PC and would like to investigate its use in new applications.

Substrate selection

PC biomaterials have been used to successfully coat the following substrates:

  • Metals, including stainless steel, nitinol, titanium, gold, platinum
  • Rubbers, including silicone, latex, butyl
  • Plastics, including:
    • Polyethylene
    • Polypropylene
    • Polyvinylchloride
    • Polymethylmethacrylate
    • Polyethylene terephthalate
    • Polyurethanes
    • Polycarbonate
    • Polyamides
    • Polyimides
    • Polystyrene
    • Polytetrafluoroethylene
    • e-PTFE
  • Glasses and ceramics
  • Tooth enamel and other tissues

Clinical Benefits

PC Technology Feature Expected Clinical Benefit
Reduced protein adhesion/activation Increased biocompatibility
Reduced blood activation Reduced risk of thrombus
Reduced bacterial adhesion Reduced risk of infection
Reduced inflammatory response Reduced risk of fibrosis/rejection Increased patient comfort
Hydrophilic/lubricious coatings Improved comfort, ease of use
Durable Prolonged device effectiveness
Non-toxic and bio-inert Rapid regulatory approval
Drug delivery Step change in device performance


PC Technology is a proprietary platform of innovative materials that can improve the biocompatibility and performance of medical devices through reduced:

  • protein deposition and activation
  • blood activation and thrombus formation
  • bacterial adhesion and biofilm deposition
  • inflammatory response
  • capsule formation
Read More about Vertellus Biomaterials PC Technology™ © Copyright 2008 – 2011 Vertellus® Specialties Inc. All rights reserved.