Vegf mediated capture of endothelial cells under flow
Smith, Randall Jay, Jr.
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Cardiovascular disease ranks highest in mortality rate worldwide; claiming 17.3 million lives in 2008. Thus the need for tissue engineered vessels for regenerative medicine remains critical. In this study a novel mechanism for selectively capturing endothelial cells under flow conditions in-vitro has been demonstrated. Active human VEGF-165 was produced in large quantities and immobilized by the naturally occurring heparin binding domain to poly-L-lysine bound heparin. Surfaces functionalized with PLL-Heparin and VEGF were placed under a microfluidic device designed to modulate flow with adjustable shear strengths by differing flow rates. Endothelial cells were selectively captured with high efficiency under a range of shear strengths in both homogenous and heterogeneous cell populations including whole blood. The results obtained could be implemented in an a-cellular tissue engineered vessel capable of regenerating an endothelial lumen through the VEGF mediated capturing of EPCs and subsequent VEGF induced proliferation, migration, and differentiation towards a mature endothelial phenotype.