Vascular tissue engineering: investigation of endothelial cell function
Heng, Jolyn Xiuhui
Date of Issue2015
School of Biological Sciences
Optimizing the surface topology of biomaterials for enhancing endothelial cell (EC) proliferation and function constitutes an essential development phase in the design of synthetic vascular grafts. One aspect of biomaterial development that is missing in the literature is the study of how cellular behaviour is affected by material surface properties. In this study, defined polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers of different fiber diameters were treated with NaOH and adsorbed with gelatin to investigate cell attachment efficiency and growth rate. The findings revealed that gelatin adsorbed surfaces does not favour EC proliferation well and led to performing the next modification which is 1 M NaOH treatment for 4 h, 16 h, and 24 h for the PCL surfaces. 1 M NaOH treatment was first performed to improve the hydrophilicity of PCL. Water contact angles (WCA) for the treated surfaces were measured and it was deduced that 1 M NaOH treatment for 16 h enhanced the surface hydrophilicity best. SEM imaging of the surface topology after NaOH treatment suggested degradation of PCL at 24 h treatment, while 4 h and 16 h treatment kept the PCL fibers intact. Together with gelatin adsorption for 3 h, the treated PCL surfaces showed higher proliferation and cell attachment efficiency especially for the solvent casted PCL (scPCL) compared to that for the 3 h gelatin adsorbed treatment. PCL surfaces were also covalently bonded with gelatin but the cell attachment efficiency was not as high for those treated with NaOH. Hence, NaOH treated surfaces are promising modification to enhance surface topology for EC functions.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University