AbstractA variety of medical grade polymeric materials are used in tissue engineering and biomedical technology. Dense non-porous polymeric foils were used as substrates for endothelial cell layers. Half a the test samples (polymers and control materials) were seeded with bovine corneal endothelial cells (BCEC) which more or less covered the substrates with an extracellular matrix (ECM) in the consecutive culturing period. Afterwards the ECM covered as well as the uncovered materials were seeded with human umbilical venous endothelial cells (HUVEC). HUVEC seeded samples were cultured either under static or under dynamical conditions in a cone/plate rheometer with a mean low arterial shear stress of 8.2 dyn/cm2 to simulate the flow conditions in a coronary vein graft.
With the exemption of polyvinyl chloride all other materials could be coated with ECM at least partially. Under static conditions the best results with respect to complete coverage with ECM and HUVEC were seen on polyester and polyurethane. Under shear load, however, the complete HUVEC layer together with the ECM detached from the polymer surface within a short time. ECM and HUVEC remained no longer than 43 minutes on anyone of the materials tested. The materials as supplied and tested were clearly not appropriate as implants in contact to the flowing blood.