alexa Immobilized DNA aptamers used as potent attractors for porcine endothelial precursor cells.
Genetics & Molecular Biology

Genetics & Molecular Biology

Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering

Author(s): Hoffmann J, Paul A, Harwardt M, Groll J, Reeswinkel T,

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Abstract Because of their insufficient biocompatibility and high thrombogenicity, small diameter artificial vascular prostheses still do not show a satisfactory patency rate. In vitro endothelialization of artificial grafts before implantation has been established experimentally years ago, but, this procedure is extremely time consuming and expensive. This study deals with the coating of graft surfaces with capture molecules (aptamers) for circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), mimicking a prohoming substrate to fish out EPCs from the bloodstream after implantation and to create an autologous functional endothelium. Using the SELEX technology, aptamers with a high affinity to EPCs were identified, isolated, and grafted onto polymeric discs using a blood compatible star-PEG coating. A porcine in vitro model that demonstrates the specific adhesion of EPCs and their differentiation into vital endothelial-like cells within 10 days in cell culture is presented. We suggest that the rapid adhesion of EPCs to aptamer-coated implants could be useful to promote endothelial wound healing and to prevent increased neointimal hyperplasia. We hypothesize that future in vivo self-endothelialization of blood contacting implants by homing factor mimetic capture molecules for EPCs may bring revolutionary new perspectives towards clinical applications of stem cell and tissue engineering strategies. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This article was published in J Biomed Mater Res A and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering

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