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Acta Biomater. 2008 Jan;4(1):58-66. Epub 2007 Aug 17.

Suture-reinforced electrospun polydioxanone-elastin small-diameter tubes for use in vascular tissue engineering: a feasibility study.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA.


This study characterizes the cross-linking of electrospun elastin and the mechanical properties of suture-reinforced 1.5mm internal diameter electrospun tubes composed of blended polydioxanone (PDO) and soluble elastin. Several tube configurations were tested to assess the effects of reinforcement on tube mechanical properties. Between the electrospun layers of each double-layered prosthetic, zero, one or two 6-0 sutures were wound, maintaining 1mm spacing with a pitch of 9 degrees . Single-layered tubes without suture were also examined. Samples were cross-linked and tested for compliance and burst strength. Compliance decreased significantly (p <0.05) and burst strength significantly increased (p <0.01) with reinforcement. Uncross-linked tubes were also tested to determine the effects of cross-linking. Results demonstrated that cross-linking significantly decreases burst strength (p <0.01), while decreases in compliance for cross-linked tubes were not significant. Cross-linked suture-reinforced PDO-elastin tubes had burst pressures more than 10 times greater than normal systolic pressures and exhibited a range of compliance values, including those matching native artery. These tubes display many characteristics of the "ideal" small-diameter graft, having mechanical properties that can be tailored to match those desired in vascular replacement applications.

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