Author(s): Pankajakshan D, Krishnan LK
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Abstract Tissue-engineered blood vessel substitutes should closely resemble native vessels in terms of structure, composition, mechanical properties, and function. Successful cardiovascular tissue engineering requires optimization of in vitro culture environment that would produce functional constructs. The extracellular matrix (ECM) protein elastin plays an essential role in the cardiovascular system to render elasticity to blood vessel wall, whereas collagen is responsible for providing mechanical strength. The objective of this study was to understand the significance of various ECM components on endothelial cell (EC) growth and tissue generation. We demonstrate that, even though fibrin is a good matrix for EC growth, fibronectin is the crucial component of the fibrin matrix that enhances EC adhesion, spreading, and proliferation. Vascular EC growth factor is known to influence in vitro growth of EC, but, so far, ECM deposition in in vitro culture has not been reported. In this study, it is shown that incorporation of a mixture of hypothalamus-derived angiogenic growth factors with fibrin matrix enhances synthesis and deposition of insoluble elastin and collagen in the matrix, within 10 days of in vitro culture. The results suggest that a carefully engineered fibrin composite matrix may support EC growth, survival, and remodeling of ECM in vitro and impart optimum properties to the construct for resisting the shear stress at the time of implantation.
This article was published in Artif Organs
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology