Small-diameter tissue-engineered vascular grafts are urgently needed for clinic arterial substitute. To simulate the structures and functions of natural blood vessels, we designed a novel triple-layer poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) fibrous vascular graft by combining E-jet 3D printing and electrospinning techniques. The resultant vascular graft consisted of an interior layer comprising 3D-printed highly aligned strong fibers, a middle layer made by electrospun densely fibers, and an exterior structure composed of mixed fibers fabricated by co-electrospraying. The biocompatible triple-layer graft was used for in vivo implantation, and results demonstrated that the longitudinally-aligned fibers within the lumen of the graft could enhance the proliferation and migration of endothelial cells, while maintained good mechanical properties. The exterior layer provided a pathway that encouraged cells to migrate into the scaffold after implantation. This experimental graft overcame the limitations of conventionally electrospun vascular grafts of inadequate porosity and lowly cell penetration. The unique structure of the triple-layer vascular graft promoted cell growth and infiltration in vivo, thus provided an encouraging substitute for in situ tissue engineering.
Annals of Biomedical Engineering – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018
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