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Mussel-inspired immobilization of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) for enhanced endothelialization of vascular grafts

 Young Min Shin ; Yu Bin Lee ; Seok Joo Kim ; Heungsoo Shin ; Wonhee Jang ; Jong-Chul Park ; Jae Kyeong Kang 
 Biomacromolecules, Vol.13(7) : 2020~2028, 2012 
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Most polymeric vascular prosthetic materials have low patency rate for replacement of small diameter vessels (<5 mm), mainly due to failure to generate healthy endothelium. In this study, we present polydopamine-mediated immobilization of growth factors on the surface of polymeric materials as a versatile tool to modify surface characteristics of vascular grafts potentially for accelerated endothelialization. Polydopamine was deposited on the surface of biocompatible poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PLCL) elastomer, on which vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was subsequently immobilized by simple dipping. Surface characteristics and composition were investigated by using scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Immobilization of VEGF on the polydopamine-deposited PLCL films was effective (19.8 ± 0.4 and 197.4 ± 19.7 ng/cm(2) for DPv20 and DPv200 films, respectively), and biotin-mediated labeling of immobilized VEGF revealed that the fluorescence intensity increased as a function of the concentration of VEGF solution. The effect of VEGF on adhesion of HUVECs was marginal, which may have been masked by polydopamine layer that also enhanced cell adhesion. However, VEGF-immobilized substrate significantly enhanced proliferation of HUVECs for over 7 days of in vitro culture and also improved their migration. In addition, immobilized VEGF supported robust cell to cell interactions with strong expression of CD 31 marker. The same process was effective for immobilization of basic fibroblast growth factor, demonstrating the robustness of polydopamine layer for secondary ligation of growth factors as a simple and novel surface modification strategy for vascular graft materials.
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