Electrospun fibre diameter and its effects on vascular smooth muscle cells

James Alexander Reid, Alison McDonald, Anthony Callanan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Bypass grafting is a technique used in the treatment of vascular disease, which is currently the leading cause of mortality worldwide. While technology has moved forward over the years, synthetic grafts still show significantly lower rates of patency in small diameter bypass operations compared to the gold standard (autologous vessel grafts). Scaffold morphology plays an important role in vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) performance, with studies showing how fibre alignment and surface roughness can modulate phenotypic and genotypic changes. Herein, this study has looked at how the fibre diameter of electrospun polymer scaffolds can affect the performance of seeded VSMCs. Four different scaffolds were electrospun with increasing fibre sizes ranging from 0.75 to 6 µm. Culturing VSMCs on the smallest fibre diameter (0.75 µm) lead to a significant increase in cell viability after 12 days of culture. Furthermore, interesting trends were noted in the expression of two key phenotypic genes associated with mature smooth muscle cell contractility (myocardin and smooth muscle alpha-actin 1), whereby reducing the fibre diameter lead to relative upregulations compared to the larger fibre diameters. These results showed that the smallest (0.75 µm) fibre diameter may be best suited for the culture of VSMCs with the aim of increasing cell proliferation and aiding cell maturity. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number10
Early online date9 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2021


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