Co-culture of mesenchymal stem cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells on heparinized polycaprolactone/gelatin co-spun nanofibers for improved endothelium remodeling.


Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Graduate School, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-Ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


Endothelization of a tissue-engineered substrate is important for its application as an artificial vascular graft. Despite recent advancements in artificial graft fabrication, a graft of <5 mm is difficult to fabricate owing to insufficient endothelization that results in thrombosis after transplantation. We aimed to perform a co-culture of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on antithrombogenic polycaprolactone (PCL)/heparin-gelatin co-spun nanofibers to evaluate the role of co-culturing in promoting quick endothelization of vascular substrates without surface modification by growth factors or other ECM proteins that trigger the endothelization process. Using a co-axial electrospinning technique, we attempted to fabricate our scaffold balancing between mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Antithrombogenic characteristics were then imparted to the fabricated nanofiber substrate by grafting of heparin. Finally, we performed a co-culture of MSCs and HUVECs on the fabricated co-spun nanofiber substrate to obtain proper endothelization of our material under the in-vitro culture. Staining for CD-31 at seven days of culture revealed enhanced CD-31 expression under the co-culture condition; actin staining revealed healthy cobblestone HUVEC morphology, suggesting that MSCs can aid in proper endothelization. Hence, we conclude that co-culture is effective for quick endothelization of vascular substrates.


Co-axial electrospinning,Core-shell nanofibers,Vascular tissue engineering,

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