Novel inorganic-organic hydrogels for tissue engineered vascular grafts
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In the US alone, roughly 1.4 million patients undergo operations requiring arterial prostheses annually (I). Tissue engineering (TE) represents a potential means to construct functional small diameter vascular grafts in situations where autologous tissue is unavailable and conventional synthetic materials fail. While initial results with many of the TE vascular grafts (TEVGs) constructed to date are very encouraging, potential for thrombosis, hyperplasia, and mechanical failure have limited their success (I). In the present study, we characterize the effects of novel inorganic-organic hydrogel scaffolds generated by the photo-cure of hydrophobic star polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS star) (inorganic polymer) and hydrophilic linear poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) on smooth muscle (SM) progenitor cell differentiation and extracellular matrix (ECM) production. Initial studies have shown these hybrid scaffolds to be biocompatible, non-thrombogenic, and highly elastic. In addition, they display unique microstructural, biochemical, and biomechanical properties that can be precisely tuned over a broad range, enabling systematic exploration of the effects of scaffold material properties on cell behavior towards TEVG optimization.
author list (cited authors)
Hahn, M., Munoz-Pinto, D., Hou, Y., & Grunlan, M.