Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential for biomimetic self-assembling fluorosurfactant polymer (FSP) coatings incorporating heptamaltose (M7-FSP) to block nonspecific protein adsorption, the cell adhesive RGD peptide (RGD-FSP), or the endothelial cell-selective CRRETAWAC peptide (cRRE-FSP) to improve patency and endothelialization in small-diameter expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) vascular graft implants. Methods ePTFE vascular grafts (4 mm in diameter, 5 cm in length) were coated with M7-FSP, RGD-FSP, or cRRE-FSP by dissolving FSPs in distilled water and flowing solution through the graft lumen for 24 hours. Coatings were confirmed by receding water contact angle measurements on the lumen surface. RGD-FSP and cRRE-FSP grafts were presodded in vitro with porcine pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PPAECs) using a custom-designed flow system. PPAEC coverage on the lumen surface was visualized with epifluorescent microscopy and quantified. Grafts were implanted as carotid artery interposition bypass grafts in seven pigs for 33 ± 2 days (ePTFE, n = 3; M7-FSP, n = 4; RGD-FSP, n = 3; cRRE-FSP, n = 4). Patency was confirmed immediately after implantation with duplex color flow ultrasound and at explantation with contrast-enhanced angiography. Grafts were sectioned for histology and stained: Movat pentachrome stain to outline vascular layers, immunofluorescent staining to identify endothelial cells (anti-von Willebrand factor antibody), and immunohistochemical staining to identify smooth muscle cells (anti-smooth muscle α-actin antibody). Neointima to lumen area ratio was determined to evaluate neointimal hyperplasia. Results Receding water contact angle measurements on graft luminal surfaces were significantly lower (P <.05) on FSP-coated ePTFE surfaces (M7-FSP, 40 ± 16 degrees; RGD-FSP, 25 ± 10 degrees; cRRE-FSP, 33 ± 16 degrees) compared with uncoated ePTFE (126 ± 2 degrees), confirming presence of the FSP layer. In vitro sodding of PPAECs on RGD-FSP and cRRE-FSP grafts resulted in a confluent monolayer of PPAECs on the luminal surface, with a similar cell population on RGD-FSP (1200 ± 187 cells/mm2) and cRRE-FSP (1134 ± 153 cells/mm2) grafts. All grafts were patent immediately after implantation, and one of three uncoated, two of three RGD-FSP, two of four M7-FSP, and two of four cRRE-FSP grafts remained patent after 1 month. PPAEC coverage of the lumen surface was seen in all patent grafts. RGD-FSP grafts had a slightly higher neointima to lumen area ratio (0.53 ± 0.06) compared with uncoated (0.29 ± 0.15), M7-FSP (0.20 ± 0.15), or cRRE-FSP (0.17 ± 0.09) grafts. Conclusions Biomimetic FSP-coated ePTFE grafts can be used successfully in vivo and have potential to support endothelialization. Grafts modified with the M7-FSP and cRRE-FSP showed lower intimal hyperplasia compared with RGD-FSP grafts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by Grant No. 5R01HL087843 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
© 2016 Society for Vascular Surgery.