• vascular;
  • PLGA;
  • nanometer;
  • fibronectin;
  • endothelial cells;
  • vascular smooth muscle cells


The largest cause of mortality in the Western world is atherosclerotic vascular disease. Many of these diseases require synthetic vascular grafts; however, their patency rate is only 30% in small (<6 mm) diameter vascular grafts after 5 years of implantation. In an effort to increase small diameter vascular graft success, researchers have been designing random nanostructured surface features which enhance vascular cell functions. However, for the present study, highly-controllable, nanostructured features on poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) surfaces were formulated. To create ordered nanostructured roughness on PLGA surfaces, either 500, 200, or 100 nm polystyrene nanospheres were separately placed onto mica. These were then used as a template for creating an inverse poly(dimethylsiloxane) mold which was utilized to cast PLGA. Compared to all other PLGA films formulated, AFM results demonstrated greater initial fibronectin spreading on PLGA which possessed spherical 200 nm features. Compared to smooth PLGA, PLGA with 500 or 100 nm surface features, results further showed that PLGA with 200 nm spherical features promoted vascular cell (specifically, endothelial, and smooth muscle cell) adhesion. In this manner, the present study demonstrated a specific nanometer surface feature size that promoted fibronectin spreading and subsequent vascular cell adhesion; criteria critical to vascular graft success. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 80A:, 2007