Braz J Med Biol Res 2019; 52(8): e8318
Poly(trimethylene carbonate-co-L-lactide) electrospun scaffolds for use as vascular grafts
Currently, there is great clinical need for suitable synthetic grafts that can be used in vascular diseases. Synthetic grafts have been successfully used in medium and large arteries, however, their use in small diameter vessels is limited and presents a high failure rate. In this context, the aim of this study was to develop tissue engineering scaffolds, using poly(trimethylene carbonate-co-L-lactide) (PTMCLLA), for application as small diameter vascular grafts. For this, copolymers with varying trimethylene carbonate/lactide ratios – 20/80, 30/70, and 40/60 – were submitted to electrospinning and the resulting scaffolds were evaluated in terms of their physicochemical and biological properties. The scaffolds produced with PTMCLLA 20/80, 30/70, and 40/60 showed smooth fibers with an average diameter of 771±273, 606±242, and 697±232 nm, respectively. When the degradation ratio was evaluated, the three scaffold groups had a similar molecular weight (Mw) on the final day of analysis. PTMCLLA 30/70 and 40/60 scaffolds exhibited greater flexibility than the PTMCLLA 20/80. However, the PTMCLLA 40/60 scaffolds showed a large wrinkling and their biological properties were not evaluated. The PTMCLLA 30/70 scaffolds supported the adhesion and growth of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), endothelial progenitor cells, and smooth muscle cells (SMCs). In addition, they provided a spreading of MSCs and SMCs. Given the results, the electrospun scaffolds produced with PTMCLLA 30/70 copolymer can be considered promising candidates for future applications in vascular tissue engineering.