Melt Electrospun Bilayered Scaffolds for Tissue Integration of a Suture-Less Inflow Cannula for Rotary Blood Pumps
Implantation of left ventricular assist devices typically requires cardiopulmonary bypass support, which is associated with postoperative complications. A novel suture-less inflow cannula, which can be implanted without bypass, uses mild myocardial compression to seal the interface, however, this may lead to necrosis of the myocardium. To circumvent this issue, a bilayered scaffold has been developed to promote tissue growth at the interface between cannula and myocardium. The bilayered scaffold consists of a silicone base layer, which mimics the seal, and a melt electrospun polycaprolactone scaffold to serve as a tissue integration layer. Biocompatibility of the bilayered scaffolds was assessed by analyzing cell viability, morphology, and metabolic activity of human foreskin fibroblasts cultured on the scaffolds for up to 14 days. There was no evidence of cytotoxicity and the cells adhered readily to the bilayered scaffolds, revealing a cell morphology characteristic of fibroblasts, in contrast to the low cell adhesion observed on flat silicone sheets. The rate of cell proliferation on the bilayered scaffolds rose over the 14-day period and was significantly greater than cells seeded on the silicone sheets. This study suggests that melt electrospun bilayered scaffolds have the potential to support tissue integration of a suture-less inflow cannula for cardiovascular applications. Furthermore, the method of fabrication described here and the application of bilayered scaffolds could also have potential uses in a diverse range of biomedical applications.