Effects of various monomers and micro-structure of polyhydroxyalkanoates on the behavior of endothelial progenitor cells and endothelial cells for vascular tissue engineering

  • Chao-Ling Yao
  • Jian-Haw Chen
  • Cheng-Hung Lee
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Bio-Based Polymers


Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of mortality in the world today. Vascular tissue engineering is an important and attractive research issue for the repair and regeneration of blood vessels. Two bio-based polymers, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), which both belong to the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) family, were used in this study. The aim of this study is to assess the potential application of PHB and PHBV to serve as a scaffold that is seeded with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) or endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) for vascular tissue engineering. PHA films with various surface characteristics were prepared by solution-casting (surface roughness) and electrospinning (mesh-like structure). First, the mechanical and physical properties of various types of PHA films were analyzed. Then, the PHAs films were examined for cytotoxicity, biocompatibility and proliferation ability using cell lines (3 T3 and L929) and primary cells (HUVECs and EPCs). The cell morphology cultured on the PHA films was observed by fluorescence microscope and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, cultured EPCs on various types of PHA films were analyzed for whether the cells maintained the abilities of Ac-LDL uptake and UEA-1 lectin binding and exhibited specific gene expressions, including VEGFR-2, vWF, CD31, CD34 and CD133. Importantly, the cell retention rate and anti-coagulation ability of HUVECs or EPCs cultured on the various types of PHA films were also evaluated at the indicated time points. Our results showed that PHA films that were prepared using electrospinning methods (Ele-PHB and Ele-PHBV) had good mechanical and physical properties. HUVECs and EPCs can attach and grow on Ele-PHB and Ele-PHBV films without showing cytotoxicity. After a one-week culture, expanded HUVECs or EPCs maintained the correct cell morphologies and exhibited correct cell functions, such as high cell attachment rate and anti-coagulation ability. Taken together, Ele-PHB and Ele-PHBV films were ideal bio-based polymers to combine with HUVECs or EPCs for vascular tissue engineering.


Polyhydroxyalkanoates Casting Electrospinning Endothelial progenitor cells Vascular tissue engineering 



The absorbance at 540 nm


Acetylated low-density lipoprotein


Solvent-cast PHB


Solvent-cast PHBV


4′,6-Diamidine-2′-phenylindole dihydrochloride


Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium


N,N-dimethyl formamide


Endothelial cells


Endothelial cell growth supplement


Extracellular matrix


Electrospun PHB


Electrospun PHBV


Endothelial progenitor cell


Filamentous actin


Fetal bovine serum


Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase


Gel permeation chromatography


Human umbilical vein endothelial cell




Laminar shear stress


Mononuclear cell


The weight-averaged molecular weight


Polymerase chain reaction


The polydispersity indice








Scanning electron microscopy


Tissue culture polystyrene


umbilical cord blood

UEA-1 Lectin

FITC-conjugated Lectin from Ulex europaeus


von Willebrand factor



This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, Republic of China [MOST 104-2628-E-155-002-MY3].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors indicate no potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chao-Ling Yao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian-Haw Chen
    • 1
  • Cheng-Hung Lee
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceYuan Ze UniversityTaoyuan CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Biotechnology and BioengineeringYuan Ze UniversityTaoyuan CityTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of General SurgeryBuddhist Dalin Tzu Chi HospitalChia-YiTaiwan
  4. 4.School of MedicineTzu Chi UniversityHualienTaiwan

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