MATERIALS & METHODS: The fabricated core/shell nanofibers contained polycaprolactone/gelatin as the shell, and silk fibroin/VEGF as the core materials.
RESULTS: The results observed that the core/shell nanofibers interact to differentiate MSCs into smooth muscle cells by the expression of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) contractile proteins α-actinin, myosin and F-actin.
CONCLUSION: The functionalized polycaprolactone/gelatin/silk fibroin/VEGF (250 ng) core/shell nanofibers were fabricated for the controlled release of VEGF in a persistent manner for the differentiation of MSCs into smooth muscle cells for vascular tissue engineering.
METHODS: PCL grafts (1 mm ID/10 mm long) were implanted into the left common carotid artery in 20 Sprague-Dawley rats and compared to our previously published series of abdominal aortic implants. The animals were followed up to 3, 6, 12 and 24 weeks. At each time point, in vivo compliance, angiography and histological examination with morphology were performed.
RESULTS: PCL grafts showed good mechanical properties and ease of handling. The average graft compliance was 14.5 ± 1.7%/ mmHg compared to 7.8 ± 0.9% for the abdominal position and 45.1 ± 3.2%/ mmHg for the native carotid artery. The overall patency for the carotid position was 65% as compared to 100% in the abdominal position. Complete endothelialisation was achieved at 3 weeks and cell invasion was more rapid than in the aortic position. In contrast, intimal hyperplasia (IH) and vascular density were less pronounced than in the aortic position.
CONCLUSION: Our PCL grafts in the carotid position were well endothelialised with early cellular infiltration, higher compliance, lower IH and calcification compared to the similar grafts implanted in the aortic position. However, there was a higher occlusion rate compared to our abdominal aorta series. Anatomical position, compliance mismatch, flow conditions may answer the difference in patency seen.