Effects of Mechanical Stretch on Collagen and Cross-Linking in Engineered Blood Vessels
Abstract:It has been shown that mechanical stimulation affects the physical properties of multiple types of engineered tissues. However, the optimum regimen for applying cyclic radial stretch to engineered arteries is not well understood. To this end, the effect of mechanical stretch on the development of engineered blood vessels was analyzed in constructs grown from porcine vascular smooth muscle cells. Cyclic radial distension was applied during vessel culture at three rates: 0 beats per minute (bpm), 90 bpm, and 165 bpm. At the end of the 7-week culture period, harvested vessels were analyzed with respect to physical characteristics. Importantly, mechanical stretch at 165 bpm resulted in a significant increase in rupture strength in engineered constructs over nonstretched controls. Stress‐strain data and maximal elastic moduli from vessels grown at the three stretch rates indicate enhanced physical properties with increasing pulse rate. In order to investigate the role of collagen cross-linking in the improved mechanical characteristics, collagen cross-link density was quantified by HPLC. Vessels grown with mechanical stretch had somewhat more collagen and higher burst pressures than nonpulsed control vessels. Pulsation did not increase collagen cross-link density. Thus, increased wall thickness and somewhat elevated collagen concentrations, but not collagen cross-link density, appeared to be responsible for increased burst strength.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Mentor Corporation, Irving, TX, USA
Publication date: August 1, 2009
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