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Exploring cell compatibility of a fibronectin-functionalized physically crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel

Authors

  • Leonardo E. Millon,

    1. Axcelon Biopolymers Corporation, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
    2. Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
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  • Donna T. Padavan,

    1. Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
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  • Amanda M. Hamilton,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
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  • Derek R. Boughner,

    1. London Health Science Centre, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
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  • Wankei Wan

    Corresponding author
    1. Axcelon Biopolymers Corporation, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
    2. Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
    • Axcelon Biopolymers Corporation, London, Ontario N6A 5B9, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

  • How to cite this article: Millon LE, Padavan DT, Hamilton AM, Boughner DR, Wan W. 2012. Exploring cell compatibility of a fibronectin-functionalized physically crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel. J Biomed Mater Res Part B 2012:100B:1-10.

Abstract

Physically crosslinked poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) hydrogels prepared using a low-temperature thermally cycled process have tunable mechanical properties that fall within the range of soft tissues, including cardiovascular tissue. An approach to render it hemocompatible is by endothelization, but its hydrophilic nature is not conducive to cell adhesion and spreading. We investigated the functionalization reaction of this class of PVA hydrogel with fibronectin (FN) for adhesion and spreading of primary porcine radial artery cells and vascular endothelial cells. These are cells relevant to small-diameter vascular graft development. FN functionalization was achieved using a multistep reaction, but the activation step involving carbonyl diimidazole normally required for chemically crosslinked PVA was found to be unnecessary. The reaction resulted in an increase in the elastic modulus of the PVA hydrogel but is still well within the range of cardiovascular tissue. Confocal microscopy confirmed the adhesion and spreading of both cell types on the PVA–FN surfaces, whereas cells failed to adhere to the PVA control. This is a first step toward an alternative for the realization of a synthetic replacement small-diameter vascular graft. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2012.

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