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Electrospun PHEA-PLA/PCL Scaffold for Vascular Regeneration: A Preliminary in Vivo Evaluation

  • Autori: Buscemi, S.; Palumbo, V.; Maffongelli, A.; Fazzotta, S.; Palumbo, F.; Licciardi, M.; Fiorica, C.; Puleio, R.; Cassata, G.; Fiorello, L.; Buscemi, G.; LO MONTE, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2017
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Background. There is increasing interest in the development of vessel substitutes, and many studies are currently focusing on the development of biodegradable scaffolds capable of fostering vascular regeneration. We tested a new biocompatible and biodegradable material with mechanical properties similar to those of blood vessels. Methods. The material used comprises a mixture of a,b-poly(N-2-hydroxyethyl)-D,L-aspartamide (PHEA) and polylactic acid (PLA), combined with polycaprolactone (PCL) by means of electrospinning technique. Low-molecular-weight heparin was also linked to the copolymer. A tubular PHEA-PLA/PCL sample was used to create an arteriovenous fistula in a pig model with the use of the external iliac vessels. The flow was assessed by means of Doppler ultrasound examination weekly, and 1 month after the implantation we removed the scaffold for histopathologic evaluation. Results. The implants showed a perfect leak-proof seal and adequate elastic tension to blood pressure. About w3 weeks after the implantation, Doppler examination revealed thrombosis of the graft, so we proceeded to its removal. Histologic examination showed chronic inflammation, with the presence of foreign body cells and marked neovascularization. The material had been largely absorbed, leaving some isolated spot residues. Conclusions. The biocompatibility of PHEA-PLA/PCL and its physical properties make it suitable for the replacement of vessels. In the future, the possibility of functionalizing the material with a variety of molecules, to modulate the inflammatory and coagulative responses, will allow obtaining devices suitable for the replacement of native vessels.