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Characterisation of a fibronectin material for application in tissue engineering

Harding, Sarah Ione; (2000) Characterisation of a fibronectin material for application in tissue engineering. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The repair of damaged human tissue may be enhanced greatly by a capacity to organise the arrangement of the healing cells. This study has demonstrated an approach to quantifying the capacity of fibronectin cables to align human cells. It is based on the staining and subsequent image analysis of cells in the neighbourhood of the cables, and the application of an orientation index (S) to give a quantitative measure of cell alignment to the cables. The lateral extent of cell alignment ie. the number of cell layers lined up beside a cable, termed the "cell docking band width", was independent of cable diameter. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed cell alignment and the deposition of fine fibrils by the cells. Orientation of cells to different cable configurations, as measured by an orientation index (S), ranged between 0.96 - 0.97 in the cell docking band width, denoting almost perfect alignment. Aligned cell docking band widths increased as a function of initial cell seeding level. This method represents a functional test system for fibronectin as a contact guidance material. Following atherosclerotic plaque formation in coronary artery, a bypass operation is sometimes necessary, normally utilising autologous vein transferal. Such grafts are subject to failure and a tissue engineered vascular graft is highly sought after. Fibronectin tubes in spiral orientation, produced by a hand winding method, allowed for close control of tube size dimensions. The tubes had a maximum tensile strength of 10N/mm2 (at 34% RH) which decreased with increasing relative humidity. Tube burst pressure was 187mmHg (24.6 x 10-3 N/mm2) thus exceeding capillary, venule, and vena cava systemic blood pressure. The reservations on clinical use are discussed. Endothelial cell attachment was supported within the hollow core of the tube, and seen by S.E.M. In this study the development of the proposed fibronectin material is considered, regarding its potential roles in skin replacement therapy and vascular grafting.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Characterisation of a fibronectin material for application in tissue engineering
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Applied sciences; Tissue engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099270
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