Copolymers of poly/vinyl alcohol-acrylic acid with various content of sulphate and carboxyl groups have been synthetized and tested for their in vitro effect on blood coagulation. The results indicate that the sulphated copolymers display an inhibitory effect but there is a requirement in the charged groups of about 20% in the molecule to possess effective anticoagulation. The biochemical mechanism of their actions is complex, i.e. the inhibition of blood clotting is a consequence of both (i) the accelerated inactivation rate of thrombin by antithrombin-III and (ii) a direct inhibitory effect on the thrombin-fibrinogen reaction. Moreover, additional effects may occur on other blood coagulation enzymes than thrombin, depending on the chemical composition of the copolymers.
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