Antithrombogenic modification of small-diameter microfibrous vascular grafts.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol
OBJECTIVE: To develop small-diameter vascular grafts with a microstructure similar to native matrix fibers and with chemically modified microfibers to prevent thrombosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Microfibrous vascular grafts (1-mm internal diameter) were fabricated by electrospinning, and hirudin was conjugated to the poly (L-lactic acid) microfibers through an intermediate linker of poly(ethylene glycol). The modified microfibrous vascular grafts were able to reduce platelet adhesion/aggregation onto microfibrous scaffolds, and immobilized hirudin suppressed thrombin activity that may interact with the scaffolds. This 2-pronged approach to modify microfibrous vascular graft showed significantly improved patency (from 50% to 83%) and facilitated endothelialization, and the microfibrous structure of the vascular grafts allowed efficient graft remodeling and integration, with the improvement of mechanical property (elastic modulus) from 3.5 to 11.1 MPa after 6 months of implantation. CONCLUSIONS: Microfibrous vascular grafts with antithrombogenic microfibers can be used as small-diameter grafts, with excellent patency and remodeling capability.