Biomaterials 2020 Oct 21;257:120251. Epub 2020 Jul 21.
Nancy E. and Peter C. Meining School of Biomedical Engineering, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA. Electronic address:
Porous synthetic grafts made of poly (glycerol sebacate) (PGS) can transform into autologous vascular conduits in vivo upon degradation of PGS. A long-held doctrine in tissue engineering is the necessity to match degradation of the scaffolds to tissue regeneration. Here, we tested the impact of degradation of PGS and its derivative in an interposition model of rat common carotid artery (CCA). Previous work indicates a complete degradation of PGS within approximately 2 weeks, likely at the fast end of the spectrum. Thus, the derivation of PGS focuses on delay degradation by conjugating the free hydroxy groups in PGS with a long chain carboxylic acid: palmitic acid, one of the most common lipid components. We evaluated two of the resultant palmitate-PGS (PPGS) in this study: one containing 9% palmitate (9-PPGS) and the other16% palmitate (16-PPGS). 16-PPGS grafts had the highest patency. Ultrasound imaging showed that the lumens of 16-PPGS grafts were similar to CCA and smaller than 9-PPGS and PGS grafts 12 weeks post-operation. Immunohistological and histological examination showed an endothelialized lumens in all three types of grafts within 4 weeks. Inflammatory responses to 16-PPGS grafts were limited to the adventitial space in contrast to a more diffusive infiltration in 9-PPGS and PGS grafts in week 4. Examination of calponin and αSMA cells revealed that 16-PPGS grafts remodeled into a distinctive bi-layered wall, while the walls of 9-PPGS grafts and PGS grafts only had one thick layer of smooth muscle-like cells. Correspondingly, the expression of collagen III and elastin displayed an identical layered structure in the remodeled 16-PPGS grafts, in contrast to a more spread distribution in 9-PPGS and PGS grafts. All the three types of grafts exhibited the same collagen content and burst pressure after 12 weeks of host remodeling. However, the compliance and elastin content of 16-PPGS grafts in week 12 were closest to those of CCA. Overall, placing the degradation of PGS derived elastomer to a window of 4-12 weeks results in vascular conduits closer to arteries in a rat carotid artery interposition model over a 12-week observation period.