Improving endothelial cell adhesion to vascular graft surfaces: clinical need and strategies.
Synthetic vascular grafts do not spontaneously endothelialize in humans and require some form of anticoagulation to maintain patency. Preseeding synthetic graft materials such as expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with endothelial cells (EC) has been examined in various in vitro and in vivo models. Although various studies provide encouraging results, clinical trials for EC seeding on synthetic grafts have not been equally successful. This paper provides a brief review of the various reports on EC seeding in animal and clinical studies. We discuss the inefficiencies associated with the EC seeding process and examine plasma protein treatment of the graft surfaces as a viable option for improving EC attachment, retention and spreading. As an alternative to existing therapies we present data on a heterogeneous ligand treatment of fibronectin (Fn) and avidin-biotin for enhanced human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) adhesion to ePTFE graft surfaces. Control consisted of HUVECs seeded on Fn treated ePTFE graft surfaces. Functionality of HUVECs was assessed by measuring prostacyclin production of cells on both homogeneous and heterogeneous ligand treated surfaces. Laminar flow studies with a variable width flow chamber and scanning electron microscopy were used to measure initial cell retention and observe initial cell spreading on ePTFE surfaces, respectively. HUVEC retention on heterogeneous ligand treated graft surface was significantly (p < 0.001) higher compared to homogeneous ligand treated surfaces for shear stress in the range of 10-30 dyn cm(-2). HUVEC showed more cellular spreading on the heterogeneous ligand treated surface after seeding for 1-2 h. In vivo experimentation was performed in immune deficient (nude) rats by replacing a section of both the femoral arteries with 8 mnm long, 1 mm internal diameter denucleated ePTFE grafts treated with homogeneous and heterogeneous ligands respectively. Both grafts were seeded with similar cell density for 15 min prior to implantation. EC attachment and retention was measured by staining EC with hematoxylin and counting the cells before and after flow using light microscopy. The results indicate that a heterogeneous ligand treatment of graft surfaces using avidin-biotin and Fn-integrin attachment mechanisms increase cell seeding efficiency, initial cell retention and cellular spreading.
Bhat, VD; Klitzman, B; Koger, K; Truskey, GA; Reichert, WM
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