Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Development of an artifical blood vessel

Plastic implants, so called vascular grafts, are an inadequate replacement for the highly specialized vessel membrane cells. This is one reason for the disappointing performance of the 'artificial heart'. Colonization of plastic surface with human cells therefore opens up promising medical alternatives, especially for artificial organs, blood circulation sensors and vessel prostheses. A porous polyurethane film is surface activated to bind covalently with chemically defined fragments of natural basement membrane (BM). The BM is an excellent substrate for human endothelial cells.

The poly(hydroxylbutylarcylate) component of the polymer blend is responsible for funtionalizing the polymer surface. To activate the hydroxyl functionalized poly(carbonate urethane) surface, carboxylic dichlorides were used as bifunctional spacers so that the surface is prepared for peptide immobilization. Successfully modified surfaces were seeded with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) derived from umbilical cord. The HUVEC produces factor VIII related antigen specific for endothelial cells only and are nonthrombogenic when subject to shear stress in the bloodstream. During the project it could be proved that human endothelial cells can cover the inner surface of a vessel successfully even if it is smaller than 5 mm diameter.

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Horst RICHTER
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