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J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2019 May;107(4):965-977. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34190. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

Toward endothelialization via vascular endothelial growth factor immobilization on cell-repelling functional polyurethanes.

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Department of Polymeric Biomaterials and Artificial Organs, College of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610065, China.
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, West China Hospital and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China.
Division of Regenerative Medicine, CHU de Québec Research Centre, Quebec City, Quebec G1L 3L5, Canada.
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec G1V 0A6, Canada.


We screened a family of nonspecific cell-repelling polyurethanes (PUs) whose backbones are attached with epoxy group-terminated polyethylene glycol (PEG) side chains. Water incubation of the PU films (with 9.2-31.1 wt % PEG) caused a surface enrichment of PEG chains where vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was grafted by forming secondary amine linkages between VEGF molecules and the PEG spacer. These linkages are still ionizable similar to original primary amines in VEGF, thereby retaining the original charge distribution on VEGF macromolecules. This charge conservation together with PEG steric repulsion helped to preserve VEGF conformation and bioactivity. The PU substrates with suitable hard segments contents and VEGF surface densities can selectively induce endothelial cells (ECs) adhesion and proliferation toward endothelialization. Moreover, the PU substrates, even grafted with fibrinogen (Fg), cannot trigger platelet adhesion and deformation, suggesting an inactive conformation of the grafted Fg. Thus enough antithrombogenicity of the PU substrates could be expected before full endothelialization. These PU materials might be applied onto the lumens of vascular grafts, potentially stimulating luminal endothelialization in vivo.


endothelialization; polyethylene glycol; polyurethanes; vascular endothelial growth factor


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