Electrostatic endothelial cell transplantation within small-diameter (<6 mm) vascular prostheses: A prototype apparatus and procedure


This article presents a novel, clinically relevant electrostatic endothelial cell transplantation (seeding/sodding) device (U.S. and Foreign Patent Protections Pending) for small-diameter (<6 mm) vascular prostheses. The prototype apparatus was designed and built to tissue engineer 4.0 mm, I.D. GORE-TEX® (W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc.) standard wall graft segments varying in length from 4 to 12 cm. The prototype electrostatic endothelial cell transplantation apparatus is composed of an external and internal conductor, aluminum base, end supports, pillow blocks, filling apparatus, electric motor drive system, and a voltage source. The cylindrical capacitor arrangement of the device along with an electrical potential applied across the internal and external conductors creates the unique feature of this endothelial cell transplantation technique, an electric held within the cylindrical capacitor (within the graft lumen) which in turn induces a temporary positive surface charge on the graft (dielectric material) luminal surface. Multiple studies have shown that a positively charged substrate is more conducive to endothelial cell adhesion and morphological maturation (flattening) (1,2,7,8,10,13-15). This induced positive surface charge dissipates immediately upon removal from the electrostatic endothelial cell transplantation device. Thus, after endothelial cell adhesion the graft luminal surface reverts back to its natural (nonthrombogenic) negative surface charge.

Publication Title

Cell Transplantation