Current vascular biomaterials exhibit poor biocompatibility characterised by failure to promote endothelialisation, predisposition to neoinitmal hyperplasia and excessive thrombogenicity. Fibrillin-1, a major constituent of microfibrils is associated with elastic fibres in the arterial wall. Fibrillin-1 binds to endothelial cells through an RGD cell adhesion motif in the fourth TB module. The RGD motif is present in PF8, a recombinant fibrillin-1 fragment. We investigated the potential of PF8 to improve the biocompatibility of PTFE. PF8 enhanced endothelial cell attachment and cell proliferation to a greater extent than fibronectin (p< 0.01). PF8 immobilised on PTFE using plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII), retained these favourable cell interactive properties, again promoting endothelial cell attachment and proliferation. The thrombogenicity of covalently bound PF8 on PTFE was assessed in both static and dynamic conditions. In static conditions, uncoated PIII treated PTFE was more thrombogenic than untreated PTFE, while PF8 coating reduced thrombogenicity. Under flow, there was no difference in the thrombogenicity of PF8 coated PTFE and untreated PTFE. Immobilised PF8 shows a striking ability to promote attachment and growth of endothelial cells on PTFE, while providing a non-thrombogenic surface. These features make PF8 a promising candidate to improve the biocompatibility of current synthetic vascular grafts.
- Vascular grafts