Background: Scaffolds are a key component of tissue-engineered heart valves (TEHVs). Several approaches had been adopted in the design of scaffolds using both natural and synthetic resources. We have investigated the suitability of parylene C (PC), a vapor deposited polymeric material, for the use as a scaffold in TEHV. Aims: To evaluate the adsorption of extracellular matrix components onto plasma-activated PC and study the biocompatibility of PC by measuring cellular adhesion, viability, apoptosis, and phenotypic expression of valve endothelial and interstitial cells. Finally, the mechanical properties of PC were compared with those of native aortic valve cusp tissue. Methods: PC slides were plasma activated and then coated with gelatin, type I collagen, or fibronectin. Porcine pulmonary valve endothelial and interstitial cells were then grown on plasma oxidized PC with different types of coatings and their adhesion was observed after 20h of incubation. Cell viability was tested using the MTS assay, and apoptosis was estimated using TUNEL staining. The mechanical properties of PC and valve tissue were measured using a Bose Mechanical Tester. Finally, cell-seeded PC films were exposed to pulsatile pressure and aortic shear stress, respectively, to test their durability in a dynamic environment. Results: Our findings show that collagen and fibronectin could bind to plasma oxidized PC. Both valve endothelial and interstitial cells adhered to protein-coated ECM. PC had a profile of mechanical stiffness and ultimate tensile strength that were comparable with or in excess of those seen in porcine aortic valve cusps. Cells were still attached to PC films after 3 days of exposure to up to 50mmHg pulsatile pressure or aortic levels of shear stress. Conclusion: PC is a promising candidate for use as a scaffold in tissue engineering heart valves. Additional studies are required to determine both the durability and long-term performance of cell-seeded PC when in a similar hemodynamic environment to that of the aortic valve.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering