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Biomaterials. 2013 Jan;34(3):685-95. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.09.081. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Mitigation of diabetes-related complications in implanted collagen and elastin scaffolds using matrix-binding polyphenol.

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Biocompatibility and Tissue Regeneration Laboratory, Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA.


There is a major need for scaffold-based tissue engineered vascular grafts and heart valves with long-term patency and durability to be used in diabetic cardiovascular patients. We hypothesized that diabetes, by virtue of glycoxidation reactions, can directly crosslink implanted scaffolds, drastically altering their properties. In order to investigate the fate of tissue engineered scaffolds in diabetic conditions, we prepared valvular collagen scaffolds and arterial elastin scaffolds by decellularization and implanted them subdermally in diabetic rats. Both types of scaffolds exhibited significant levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), chemical crosslinking and stiffening -alterations which are not favorable for cardiovascular tissue engineering. Pre-implantation treatment of collagen and elastin scaffolds with penta-galloyl glucose (PGG), an antioxidant and matrix-binding polyphenol, chemically stabilized the scaffolds, reduced their enzymatic degradation, and protected them from diabetes-related complications by reduction of scaffold-bound AGE levels. PGG-treated scaffolds resisted diabetes-induced crosslinking and stiffening, were protected from calcification, and exhibited controlled remodeling in vivo, thereby supporting future use of diabetes-resistant scaffolds for cardiovascular tissue engineering in patients with diabetes.

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