Blood vessels are diverse in size, mechanical and biochemical properties, cellular content, and ultrastructural organization depending on their location and specific function. Therefore, it is required to control the fabrication of vascular grafts for obtaining desirable characteristics of blood vessel substitutes. In this study we have fabricated various scaffolds using the electrospinning technique with blends of collagen, elastin, and several biodegradable polymers. Biocompatibility, dimensional stability in vitro and mechanical properties were evaluated. Materials were blended at a relative concentration by weight of 45% collagen, 15% elastin, and 40% synthetic polymer to mimic the ratio of collagen and elastin in native blood vessels. The fabricated scaffolds are composed of randomly oriented fibers with diameters ranging from 477 to 765 nm. The electrospun scaffolds are nontoxic, dimensionally stable in an in vitro culture environment, easily fabricated, and possess controlled mechanical properties that simulate the ultrastructure of native blood vessels. The present study suggests that the introduction of synthetic biodegradable polymers enabled tailoring of mechanical properties of vascular substitutes and improving compliance matching for vascular tissue engineering.
(c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 2007.