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Electrospinning thermoplastic polyurethane/graphene oxide scaffolds for small diameter vascular graft applications.

Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications (2015-02-18)
Xin Jing, Hao-Yang Mi, Max R Salick, Travis M Cordie, Xiang-Fang Peng, Lih-Sheng Turng
ABSTRACT

Fabrication of small diameter vascular grafts plays an important role in vascular tissue engineering. In this study, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)/graphene oxide (GO) scaffolds were fabricated via electrospinning at different GO contents as potential candidates for small diameter vascular grafts. In terms of mechanical and surface properties, the tensile strength, Young's modulus, and hydrophilicity of the scaffolds increased with an increase of GO content while plasma treatment dramatically improved the scaffold hydrophilicity. Mouse fibroblast (3T3) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were cultured on the scaffolds separately to study their biocompatibility and potential to be used as vascular grafts. It was found that cell viability for both types of cells, fibroblast proliferation, and HUVEC attachment were the highest at a 0.5wt.% GO loading whereas oxygen plasma treatment also enhanced HUVEC viability and attachment significantly. In addition, the suture retention strength and burst pressure of tubular TPU/GO scaffolds containing 0.5wt.% GO were found to meet the requirements of human blood vessels, and endothelial cells were able to attach to the inner surface of the tubular scaffolds. Platelet adhesion tests using mice blood indicated that vascular scaffolds containing 0.5% GO had low platelet adhesion and activation. Therefore, the electrospun TPU/GO tubular scaffolds have the potential to be used in vascular tissue engineering.

MATERIALS
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