, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 129-136

The endothelization of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane nanocomposites

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It has been recognized that seeding vascular bypass grafts with endothelial cells is the ideal method of improving their long-term patency rates. The aim of this study was to assess the in vitro cytocompatibility of a novel silica nanocomposite, polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane-poly(carbonate-urea)urethane (POSS-PCU) and hence elicit its feasibility at the vascular interface for potential use in cardiovascular devices such as vascular grafts. Using primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), cell viability and adhesion were studied using AlamarBlue assays, whereas cell proliferation on the polymer was assessed using the PicoGreen dye assay. Cellular confluence and morphology on the nanocomposite were analyzed using light and electron microscopy, respectively. Our results showed that there was no significant difference between cell viability in standard culture media and POSS-PCU. Endothelial cells were capable of adhering to the polymer within 30 min of contact (Student's t-test, p<0.05) with no difference between POSS-PCU and control cell culture plates. POSS-PCU was also capable of sustaining good cell proliferation for up to 14d even from low seeding densities (1.0×103 cells/cm2) and reaching saturation by 21 d. Microscopic analysis showed evidence of optimal endothelial cell adsorption morphology with the absence of impaired motility and morphogenesis. In conclusion, these results support the application of POSS-PCU as a suitable biomaterial scaffold in bio-hybrid vascular prostheses and biomedical devices.