The influence of biomaterials on endothelial cell thrombogenicity
Driven by tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, endothelial cells are being used in combination with biomaterials in a number of applications for the purpose of improving blood compatibility and host integration. Endothelialized vascular grafts are beginning to be used clinically with some success in some centers, while endothelial seeding is being explored as a means of creating a vasculature within engineered tissues. The underlying assumption of this strategy is that when cultured on artificial biomaterials, a confluent layer of endothelial cells maintain their non-thrombogenic phenotype. In this review the existing knowledge base of endothelial cell thrombogenicity cultured on a number of different biomaterials is summarized. The importance of selecting appropriate endpoint measures that are most reflective of overall surface thrombogenicity is the focus of this review. Endothelial cells inhibit thrombosis through three interconnected regulatory systems (1) the coagulation cascade, (2) the cellular components of the blood such as leukocytes and platelets and (3) the complement cascade, and also through effects on fibrinolysis and vascular tone, the latter which influences blood flow. Thus, in order to demonstrate the thrombogenic benefit of seeding a biomaterial with EC, the conditions under which EC surfaces are more likely to exhibit lower thrombogenicity than unseeded biomaterial surfaces need to be consistent with the experimental context. The endpoints selected should be appropriate for the dominant thrombotic process that occurs under the given experimental conditions.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 28, Issue 16, June 2007, Pages 2547–2571