Electrostatic endothelial cell seeding has evolved as an exceptional technique to improve the efficiency of cell seeding in terms of frequency of attached cells and the amount of cell adhesion for the treatment of vascular diseases. In the recent times, both untreated and superhydrophilic thin film nitinol (TFN) have exhibited strong prospects as substrates for creation of small-diameter endovascular grafts due to their hallmark properties of superelasticity, ultra low-profile character, and grown hemocompatible oxide layer with the presence of a uniform endothelial layer on the surface. The purpose of the current study is to understand the effects of endothelial cell seeding parameters (i.e., applied voltage, incubation time, substrate chemistry, and cell suspension solution) to investigate the cell seeding phenomenon and to improve the cell adhesion and growth on the TFN surface under electrostatic transplantation. Both parallel plate and cylindrical capacitor models were used along with the Taguchi Design of Experiment (DOE) methods to design in vitro test parameters. A novel in vitro system for a cylindrical capacitor model was created using a micro flow pump, micro incubation system, and silicone tubings. The augmented endothelialization on thin film nitinol was developed to determine the effect of cell seeding and deployed in a 6 Fr intravascular catheter setup. Cell viability along with morphology and proliferation of adhered cells were evaluated using fluorescent and scanning electron microscopy. Our results demonstrated that the maximum number of cells attached on STFN in the catheter was observed in 5 V with the 2 h exposure of in the cell culture medium (CCM) solution. The condition showed 5 V voltage with 0.68 × 10−6
µC electrostatic charge and 5.11 V·mm−1
electric field. Our findings have first demonstrated that the electrostatic endothelialization on the superhydrophilic thin film nitinol endograft within the catheter prior to the endovascular procedure could enhance the biocompatibility for low-profile endovascular applications.
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