Biomimicking polysaccharide nanofibers promote vascular phenotypes : a potential application for vascular tissue engineering
Visage, Catherine Le
Chew, Sing Yian
Date of Issue2012
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
The potential of electrospun pullulan/dextran (P/D) nanofibers (average diameter = 323 nm) for vascular tissue engineering applications is explored. The mechanical properties of the nanofibers are of the same order of magnitude as that of human arteries (Young's modulus ≈0.88 MPa; tensile strength ≈0.35 MPa). It is demonstrated that the nanofiber topography enables cell adhesion and that the endothelial phenotype is maintained on the nanofibers. Moreover, P/D nanofibers support a stable confluent monolayer of endothelial cells over 14 d. SMCs seeded on nanofibers display similar levels of alpha smooth muscle actin and a lower proliferation rate than cells on 2D cultures. The observations suggest that nanofibers promote a shift to a quiescent contractile phenotype in SMCs.