In vivo biocompatibility assessment of poly (ether imide) electrospun scaffolds


Poly(ether imide) (PEI), which can be chemically functionalized with biologically active ligands, has emerged as a potential biomaterial for medical implants. Electrospun PEI scaffolds have shown advantageous properties, such as enhanced endothelial cell adherence, proliferation and low platelet adhesion in in vitro experiments. In this study, the in vivo behaviour of electrospun PEI scaffolds and PEI films was examined in a murine subcutaneous implantation model. Electrospun PEI scaffolds and films were surgically implanted subcutaneously in the dorsae of mice. The surrounding subcutaneous tissue response was examined via histopathological examination at 7 and 28 days after implantation. No serious adverse events were observed for both types of PEI implants. The presence of macrophages or foreign body giant cells in the vicinity of the implants and the formation of a fibrous capsule indicated a normal foreign body reaction towards PEI films and scaffolds. Capsule thickness and inflammatory infiltration cells significantly decreased for PEI scaffolds during days 7–28 while remaining unchanged for PEI films. The infiltration of cells into the implant was observed for PEI scaffolds 7 days after implantation and remained stable until 28 days of implantation. Additionally some, but not all, PEI scaffold implants induced the formation of functional blood vessels in the vicinity of the implants. Conclusively, this study demonstrates the in vivo biocompatibility of PEI implants, with favourable properties of electrospun PEI scaffolds regarding tissue integration and wound healing.
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