Structural and cellular characterization of electrospun recombinant human tropoelastin biomaterials

Kathryn A. McKenna, Kenton W. Gregory, Rebecca C. Sarao, Cheryl L. Maslen, Robert W. Glanville, Monica T. Hinds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


An off-the-shelf vascular graft biomaterial for vascular bypass surgeries is an unmet clinical need. The vascular biomaterial must support cell growth, be non-thrombogenic, minimize intimal hyperplasia, match the structural properties of native vessels, and allow for regeneration of arterial tissue. Electrospun recombinant human tropoelastin (rTE) as a medial component of a vascular graft scaffold was investigated in this study by evaluating its structural properties, as well as its ability to support primary smooth muscle cell adhesion and growth. rTE solutions of 9, 15, and 20 wt% were electrospun into sheets with average fiber diameters of 167 ± 32, 522 ± 67, and 735 ± 270 nm, and average pore sizes of 0.4 ± 0.1, 5.8 ± 4.3, and 4.9 ± 2.4 μm, respectively. Electrospun rTE fibers were cross-linked with disuccinimidyl suberate to produce an insoluble fibrous polymeric recombinant tropoelastin (prTE) biomaterial. Smooth muscle cells attached via integrin binding to the rTE coatings and proliferated on prTE biomaterials at a comparable rate to growth on prTE coated glass, glass alone, and tissue culture plastic. Electrospun tropoelastin demonstrated the cell compatibility and design flexibility required of a graft biomaterial for vascular applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-230
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Applications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • cell adhesion
  • cell proliferation
  • elastin
  • tissue engineering
  • vascular biomaterial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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