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Image Analysis of Endothelial Microstructure and Endothelial Cell Dimensions of Human Arteries – A Preliminary Study

Authors

  • Bora Garipcan,

    1. Institute of Materials Science and Technology (IMT), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
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    • Both the authors have contributed equally to the study

  • Stefan Maenz,

    1. Institute of Materials Science and Technology (IMT), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
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    • Both the authors have contributed equally to the study

  • Tam Pham,

    1. Institute of Materials Science and Technology (IMT), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
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  • Utz Settmacher,

    1. Department of General, Visceral and Vascular Surgery, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Erlanger Allee 101, 07747 Jena, Germany
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  • Klaus D. Jandt,

    1. Institute of Materials Science and Technology (IMT), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
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  • Jürgen Zanow,

    1. Department of General, Visceral and Vascular Surgery, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Erlanger Allee 101, 07747 Jena, Germany
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  • Jörg Bossert

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Materials Science and Technology (IMT), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany
    • Institute of Materials Science and Technology (IMT), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Löbdergraben 32, 07743 Jena, Germany.
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  • Acknowledgements: Partial financial support for this work has been provided by EU in the form of a Marie Curie fellowship (Project number FP6 2002–mobility 3 proposal No FP6-14084, SoLiTech). We gratefully acknowledge the partial financial support of the BMBF for this work within the project “Innovations- und Gründerlabor für neue Werkstoffe (Biomaterialien) und Verfahren (IGWV) an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena” with Förderkennzeichen 03GL0026.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to broaden the relatively small number of qualitative and quantitative data available on the endothelium of human blood vessels by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging and computer based image analysis of the human endothelial microstructure and dimensions. Endothelium of the arterial blood vessels (common iliac artery and hepatic artery) was imaged directly by using SEM. From high quality images, precise information on the microstructure and dimensions of endothelial cells was obtained by using GIMP and Leica QWin image analysis software. The mean endothelial cell width, length, and area of common iliac artery endothelial cells were found to be 13.2 ± 4.1 µm, 25.8 ± 8.5 µm, and 245.0 ± 115.1 µm2, respectively. For hepatic artery endothelial cells, mean values of cell width, length, and area were found to be 4.9 ± 1.5 µm, 21.9 ± 6.6 µm, and 70.7 ± 34.8 µm2, respectively. Morphology and dimension of the endothelial cells were different depending on the donor, type, and diameter of the arteries due to the effect of blood flow direction and volume rate. The presented method is useful for obtaining quantitative data on human endothelial cells. This study provides a first basis for future studies with larger numbers of samples on morphological changes secondary to pathological conditions, such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Furthermore, the data may support the development of a template for a novel artificial vascular graft with superior performance.

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