Fabrication, Biocompatibility, and Tissue Engineering Substrate Analysis of Polyvinyl Alcohol-Gelatin Core-Shell Electrospun Nanofibers
AuthorMerkle, Valerie Marie
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States with approximately 49% of the cardiovascular related deaths attributed to coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is the accumulation of plaque resulting in the narrowing of the vessel lumen and a decrease in blood flow to the downstream heart muscle. In order to restore blood flow, arterial by-pass procedures can be undertaken. However, the patient's own arteries/veins may not be suitable for use as a vessel replacement, and synthetic grafts lack the compliancy and durability needed for these small diameter locations (<5 mm). Therefore, the goal of this research is to develop a nanofibrous material that can be used in vascular applications such as this. In this study, we fabricate coaxial electrospun nanofibers with gelatin in the shell and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) in the core using 1 Gelatin: 1 PVA and 3 Gelatin: 1 PVA mass ratios. Gelatin, derived from collagen, is highly bioactive while PVA, a synthetic polymer, has appealing mechanical properties. Therefore, by combining these materials in a core-shell structure, we hypothesize that the resulting nanofibers will have enhanced mechanical properties, cellular growth and migration, as well as minimal platelet deposition and activation compared to scaffolds composed solely of gelatin or PVA. First, the coaxial scaffolds exhibited an enhanced Young's modulus and ultimate strength compared to scaffolds composed of PVA or gelatin alone. Endothelial cells had high proliferation and migration on the coaxial electrospun scaffolds with higher migration seen on the stiffer, coaxial scaffolds. The smooth muscle cells had less proliferation and lower migration rates on the coaxial scaffolds than the endothelial cells. Using a modified prothrombinase assay, the coaxial scaffolds had minimal platelet activation. Lastly, when pre-seeding the coaxial scaffolds with endothelial cells or smooth muscle cells, the platelet deposition decreased in comparison to platelet deposition with no cell pre-seeding. Overall, the 1 Gel: 1 PVA coaxial scaffolds promoted endothelial cell growth and migration, minimized smooth muscle cell growth and migration, and had minimal platelet activation. Therefore, the 1 Gel: 1 PVA coaxial nanofibers are an intriguing material for use in vascular applications.
Degree ProgramGraduate College