Optimization of Suture-Free Laser-Assisted Vessel Repair by Solder-Doped Electrospun Poly(e-caprolactone) Scaffold

D.R. Pabittei, M. Heger, J.F. Beek, S. Tuijl, van, M. Simonet, A.C. Wal, van der, B.A.J.M. Mol, de, R. Balm

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Poor welding strength constitutes an obstacle in the clinical employment of laser-assisted vascular repair (LAVR) and anastomosis. We therefore investigated the feasibility of using electrospun poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffold as reinforcement material in LAVR of medium-sized vessels. In vitro solder-doped scaffold LAVR (ssLAVR) was performed on porcine carotid arteries or abdominal aortas using a 670-nm diode laser, a solder composed of 50% bovine serum albumin and 0.5% methylene blue, and electrospun PCL scaffolds. The correlation between leaking point pressures (LPPs) and arterial diameter, the extent of thermal damage, structural and mechanical alterations of the scaffold following ssLAVR, and the weak point were investigated. A strong negative correlation existed between LPP and vessel diameter, albeit LPP (484 ± 111 mmHg) remained well above pathophysiological pressures. Histological analysis revealed that thermal damage extended into the medial layer with a well-preserved internal elastic lamina and endothelial cells. Laser irradiation of PCL fibers and coagulation of solder material resulted in a strong and stiff scaffold. The weak point of the ssLAVR modality was predominantly characterized by cohesive failure. In conclusion, ssLAVR produced supraphysiological LPPs and limited tissue damage. Despite heat-induced structural/mechanical alterations of the scaffold, PCL is a suitable polymer for weld reinforcement in medium-sized vessel ssLAVR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-234
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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