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Electrospun polycaprolactone/collagen nanofibers cross-linked with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide/N-hydroxysuccinimide and genipin facilitate endothelial cell regeneration and may be a promising candidate for vascular scaffolds

Authors Chen D, Zhu T, Fu W, Zhang H

Received 30 October 2018

Accepted for publication 18 January 2019

Published 26 March 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 2127—2144


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Govarthanan Muthusamy

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mian Wang

Dian Chen,1 Tonghe Zhu,2,3 Wei Fu,4 Haibo Zhang1

1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China; 2State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Donghua University, Shanghai, China; 3Department of Sports Medicine, Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China; 4Institute of Pediatric Translational Medicine, Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

Purpose: A promising vascular scaffold must possess satisfying mechanical properties, great hemocompatibility, and favorable tissue regeneration. Combining natural with synthetic materials is a popular method of creating/enhancing such scaffolds. However, the effect of additional modification on the materials requires further exploration.
Materials and methods: We selected polycaprolactone (PCL), which has excellent mechanical properties and biocompatibility and can be combined with collagen. Electrospun fibers created using a PCL/collagen solution were used to fashion mixed nanofibers, while separate syringes of PCL and collagen were used to create separated nanofibers, resulting in different pore sizes. Mixed and separated nanofibers were cross-linked with glutaraldehyde (GA), 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC), and genipin; hence, we named them as mixed GA, mixed EDC (ME), mixed genipin (MG), separated GA, separated EDC (SE), and separated genipin (SG).
Results: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction showed that cross-linking did not affect the main functional groups of fibers in all groups. ME, MG, SE, and SG met the requisite mechanical properties, and they also resisted collagenase degradation. In hemocompatibility assays, only ME and MG demonstrated ideal safety. Furthermore, ME and MG presented the greatest cytocompatibility. For vascular scaffolds, rapid endothelialization helps to prevent thrombosis. According to human umbilical vein endothelial cell migration on different nanofibers, ME and MG are also successful in promoting cell migration.
Conclusion: ME and MG may be promising candidates for vascular tissue engineering. The study suggests that collagen cross-linked by EDC/N-hydroxysuccinimide or genipin facilitates endothelial cell regeneration, which could be of great benefit in tissue engineering of vascular scaffolds.

Keywords: tissue engineering, glutaraldehyde, mechanical test, hemocompatibility, subcutaneous implantation, migration assay

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