An in vitro study of blood compatibility of vascular grafts made of bacterial cellulose in comparison with conventionally-used graft materials



In this study we analyzed the blood compatibility of bacterial cellulose (BC) as a new biosynthetic material for use as a vascular graft. As reference materials we used expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) vascular grafts. These materials are in clinical use today. Tubes with inner diameters of both 4 (not PET) and 6 mm were tested. Heparin-coated PVC tubes (hepPVC) were used as a negative control. Platelet consumption and thrombin-antithrombin complex (TAT) were used as parameters of coagulation and for complement activation, sC3a and sC5b-9 were used. The investigated parameters were measured after 1-h exposure to freshly drawn human blood supplemented with a low dose of heparin in a Chandler loop system. The results showed that BC exhibits no significant difference in platelet consumption, as compared with PET (6 mm), ePTFE and hepPVC. The PET material consumed more platelets than any of the other materials. The TAT generation for 4 mm tubes was not significantly different between BC and the other materials. For 6 mm tubes, however, differences were observed between hepPVC and PET (p < 0.0001); BC and hepPVC (p = 0.0016); ePTFE and PET (p < 0.0001); BC and ePTFE (p = 0.0029); BC and PET (p = 0.0141). Surprisingly, considering the low platelet consumption, the complement activation parameters (sC3a and sC5b-9) were much higher for BC, as compared with the other materials for both 4 and 6 mm tubes. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2011.