Friday, December 06, 2013

Neovascularization of Synthetic Membranes Directed by Membrane Microarchitecture

In this study, the porosity of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane was varied to study the correlation between porosity and vascular growth. It was found that larger pores had 80-100 fold more vascular structures. This type of investigation is a key aspect of preventing immune rejection of tissue transplantation devices. In general, the inflammatory reaction may be attributed to the primary adhesion of a layer of immune cells, the secondary avascular region, and a tertiary vascularized region surrounding the device membrane. The use of such large pore sizes, to induce vascularization, and a laminate to create a smaller pore inner membrane and thus prevent cell entry into the device is ideal for minimization of the inflammatory response.

This study is interesting in that the micro-architecture of the membrane is able to influence the behavior of inflammatory cells. If such a postulate is true universally, it holds that the structure of an engineered matrix itself is able to affect cell behavior. This is a discovery that may have implications in various aspects of the development of membranous devices, tissue scaffold constructs, and other devices that must be protected from immune rejection.


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