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Keywords:

  • biodegradable elastomer;
  • endothelial progenitor cells;
  • smooth muscle cells;
  • blood vessel tissue engineering

Abstract

Poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) is a biodegradable and biocompatible elastomer specifically developed for soft tissue engineering. Vascular cells adhered to an elastomer may exhibit more physiological behavior because the substrate's mechanical properties more closely match those of the tissue. To investigate the feasibility of using PGS as a scaffold material for vascular tissue engineering, the authors examined the adhesion, proliferation, and phenotypic and morphologic properties of primary baboon endothelial progenitor cells (BaEPCs) and baboon smooth muscle cells (BaSMCs) cultured on PGS films and scaffolds. Tissue culture-treated polystyrene plates were used as controls. Phase contrast microscopy indicated that both types of cells showed normal morphology on PGS films. Immuofluorescent staining revealed that von Willebrand factor and α-smooth muscle actin were expressed by BaEPCs and BaSMCs, respectively. Both types of cells proliferated well on PGS surfaces. When cultured in PGS scaffolds, BaSMCs were distributed throughout the scaffolds and synthesized extracellular matrix, as indicated by histological evaluations. The distribution of the BaSMCs in the constructs was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Immunofluorescent staining of cocultured constructs indicated that the BaSMC-seeded constructs provided suitable surfaces for BaEPC adhesion, and both types of cells maintained their specific phenotypes. These results suggest that PGS is an appropriate scaffold material for blood vessel tissue engineering. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 2007