Biomedical materials (Bristol, England)

Electrospinning of highly concentrated albumin patches by using auxiliary polymers for laser-assisted vascular anastomosis.

PMID 29739918


Electrospun meshes have been extensively investigated for tissue engineering and drug delivery. The application of this technology is of interest for laser-assisted vascular anastomosis (LAVA) due to the possibility to bind and stabilize macromolecules in fibers. We prepared bovine serum albumin (BSA) blend microfibers from the auxiliary proteins polyethylene oxide (PEO), polycaprolactone (PCL), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and gelatin. The thickness and weight of the resulting patches were measured and the morphological characteristics were observed by scanning electron microscopy. Thereafter, layered patches were prepared by spinning the BSA/polymer layer on top of a light absorbing layer made of indocyanine green and PCL. The effect of the material composition of the electrospun patches on the behavior during LAVA, the bonding strength and the resulting thermal damage were investigated. The bonding strength of the tissue fusion increased with higher BSA amounts in the patch. By using PEO, a ratio of 85/15 (w/w) of BSA/PEO was stable during electrospinning, leading to a shear strength that was similar to patches that were soaked in liquid BSA (20.7 ± 4.1 mN mm-2 and 20.3 ± 4.1 mN mm-2, respectively). The handling during LAVA was however drastically improved by using a layered patch made from BSA/PEO. Thermal damage was similar compared to previous solder materials. This study investigated the maximum amount of BSA possible in electrospun polymer fibers made from PEO, PCL, PVA and gelatin. Both, the process of electrospinning and the performance during ex vivo LAVA, makes the BSA/PEO blend a promising material for LAVA.