A combined method for bilayered vascular graft fabrication
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Autologous saphenous vein is still the conduit of choice for peripheral by-pass. Synthetic vascular grafts in polyethylene terephthalate and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene are used if vein access cannot be obtained. However they are successfully used to replace large diameter vessels, but they fail in small diameters (<6 mm). In the present study a bilayered synthetic vascular graft was developed. The graft was composed of an inner nanofibrous layer obtained by electrospinning able to host endothelial cells and a highly porous external layer obtained by spray, phase-inversion technique capable to sustain tunica media regeneration. Graft morphology and thickness, fiber size, pore size and layer adhesion strength were assessed. The innovative combination of two different consolidated techniques allowed to manufacture a nanostructured composite graft featuring a homogeneous microporous layer firmly attached on the top of the electrospun layer. By tuning the mechanical properties and the porosity of vascular prostheses, it will be possible to optimize the graft for in situ tissue regeneration while preventing blood leakage.
KeywordsVascular Graft Peel Test Polycarbonate Urethane Synthetic Vascular Graft Graft Morphology
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