Small Diameter Vascular Grafts Coated with Gelatin
Ferrari, P.F.
Aliakbarian, B.
Palombo, D.
Perego, P.
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Ferrari P., Aliakbarian B., Palombo D., Perego P., 2017, Small Diameter Vascular Grafts Coated with Gelatin, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 57, 1441-1446.
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In the field of tissue engineering, there is an increased demand for small diameter vascular grafts to treat peripheral vascular pathologies and ischemic heart diseases. The limited availability of suitable autogenous veins and the drawbacks related to the use of synthetic materials, such as polyethylene terephthalate (Dacron®) and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), especially when they are used as substitutes for small diameter vessels, have attracted several investigators turning their attention toward the fabrication of alternative biocompatible grafts. In this study, small diameter tubular grafts (2 mm), made of poly (e- caprolactone) (PCL) and poly (glycerol sebacate) (PGS) at a ratio of 1:1 (v/v) were obtained by electrospinning. With the aim to reduce water permeability, their surface was modified by dynamic coating of gelatin at 37 °C for 1 h, followed by UV-irradiation. Thickness, fiber diameters, porosity, mass loss, fluid uptake, water permeability, gelatin release, mechanical properties, cytotoxicity, and hemocompatibility of gelatin-coated electrospun scaffolds (GCS) were studied and compared with uncoated scaffolds (UCS). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed that the gelatin surface modification did not affect the 3D structure and pore interconnectivity of the scaffolds. A significant decrease in the water permeability was noticed when gelatin was used as coating agent. The results of this study highlighted the importance of a very low cost surface treatment with gelatin to improve the properties of PCL:PGS electrospun grafts. In conclusion, these gelatin-coated prostheses could be considered as a good candidate for vascular replacement in tissue engineering.
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