Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine

Dual-acting biofunctionalised scaffolds for applications in regenerative medicine.

PMID 28108960


Off the shelf scaffolds for replacing ultra-small diameter vascular grafts are valuable for reconstruction of diseased or damaged vessels. The limitations for such grafts include optimal handling with ready availability of varied lengths of grafts, graft patency with the ability to replace the function of active cellular mechanisms and adequate mechanical properties to maintain physicochemical function. We used a well-established, solvent casting method for potential tissue replacement scaffold fabrication with incorporated bioactive molecules, which we have previously explored to confer haemocompatibility. These grafts were tested in-vivo within the abdominal aorta of 10 Wistar rats and the patency was clinically and echographically evaluated. Haemocompatibility and endothelialisation were assessed on explants. Biofunctionalised scaffolds were also grafted subcutaneously and intraperitoneally to evaluate integration, inflammation and angiogenesis reactions. The potential wider applications of this dual acting scaffold were evaluated for its interactions with human dermal fibroblasts as well as bronchial epithelial cells. Physicochemical property evaluation of the functionalised grafts has clarified the mechanical strength and permeability. This study confirmed the microsurgical suturability of tubular grafts and graft patency of functionalized scaffolds. The study demonstrated the potential of a dual acting biofunctionalised scaffold's use for a wide range of tissue engineering applications where micro-porous, yet impermeable scaffolds are needed.

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