Canines are typically used as the standard preclinical model to gauge the success of vascular graft materials. However, canines spontaneously re-endothelialize vascular grafts, whereas humans do not, even after years. This raises questions of why there are differences in vascular healing between humans and other species and whether the canine is the appropriate preclinical model. In the present study we evaluated human and canine endothelial cell (EC) migration on the novel cross-linked collagen biomaterial PhotoFix(TM) pericardium. We compared in vitro migration of these cells on PhotoFix alone and on PhotoFix adsorbed with various growth factors (aFGF and bFGF) and adhesion proteins (fibronectin, collagen IV, vitronectin, and laminin). We also compared human and canine ECs in terms of their morphologies and prostacyclin production. We found that human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs) and canine ECs (CECs) migrated well on PhotoFix, suggesting that this biomaterial may be a good vascular graft candidate. Both cell types responded similarly to different growth factors and adhesive proteins, but HUVEC migration was consistently higher than that for CECs. This suggested that human in vivo graft re-endothelialization is likely not hindered by poor endothelial migration but is hindered by other cellular or graft properties.
Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 56: 545--555, 2001.