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Small diameter helical vascular scaffolds support endothelial cell survival

Parikh, V and Kadiwala, J and Hidalgo, A and Holt, C and Sunami, M and Miraftab, M and Shakur, R and Azzawi, M (2018) Small diameter helical vascular scaffolds support endothelial cell survival. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 14 (8). ISSN 1549-9634

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Abstract

There is an acute clinical need for small-diameter vascular grafts as a treatment option for cardiovascular disease. Here, we used an intelligent design system to recreate the natural structure and hemodynamics of small arteries. Nano-fibrous tubular scaffolds were fabricated from blends of polyvinyl alcohol and gelatin with inner helices to allow a near physiological spiral flow profile, using the electrospinning technique. Human coronary artery endothelial cells (ECs) were seeded on the inner surface and their viability, distribution, gene expression of mechanosensitive and adhesion molecules compared to that in conventional scaffolds, under static and flow conditions. We show significant improvement in cell distribution in helical vs conventional scaffolds (94% ± 9% vs 82% ± 7.2%; p<0.05) with improved responsiveness to shear stress and better ability to withhold physiological pressures. Our helical vascular scaffold provides an improved niche for EC growth and may be attractive as a potential small diameter vascular graft.

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