The major cause of synthetic vessel failure is thrombus and neointima formation. To prevent these problems the creation of a continuous and elongated endothelium inside lumen vascular grafts might be a promising solution for tissue engineering. Different micro- and nano-surface topographic cues including grooved micro-patterns and electrospun fibers have been previously demonstrated to guide the uniform alignment of endothelial cells (ECs). Here, with a very simple and highly versatile approach we combined electrospinning with soft lithography to fabricate nanofibrous scaffolds with oriented fibers modulated by different micro-grooved topographies. The effect of these scaffolds on the behavior of the ECs are analyzed, including their elongation, spreading, proliferation, and functioning using unpatterned random and aligned nanofibers (NFs) as controls. It is demonstrated that both aligned NFs and micro-patterns effectively influence the cellular response, and that a proper combination of topographic parameters, exploiting the synergistic effects of micro-scale and sub-micrometer features, can promote EC elongation, allowing the creation of a confluent ECs monolayer in analogy with the natural endothelium as assessed by the positive expression of vinculin. Combining different micro- and nano-topographic cues by complementary soft patterning and spinning technologies could open interesting perspectives for engineered vascular replacement constructions.
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