Modulating smooth muscle cell response by the release of TGFβ2 from tubular scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering

D. C. Ardila, E. Tamimi, T. Doetschman, W. R. Wagner, J. P. Vande Geest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Tissue engineering has gained considerable attention in the development of small diameter tissue engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs) for treating coronary heart disease. A properly designed acellular and biodegradable TEVG must encourage the infiltration and growth of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Our group has previously shown that increasing levels of TGFβ2 can differentially modulate SMC migration and proliferation. In this study, tubular electrospun scaffolds loaded with TGFβ2 were fabricated using various ratios of gelatin/polycaprolactone (PCL), resulting in scaffolds with porous nano-woven architecture suitable for tissue ingrowth. Scaffold morphology, degradation rate, TGβ2 release kinetics, and bioactivity were assessed. TGFβ2 was successfully integrated into the electrospun biomaterial that resulted in a differential release profile depending on the gelatin/PCL ratio over the course of 42 days. Higher TGFβ2 elution was obtained in scaffolds with higher gelatin content, which may be related to the biodegradation of gelatin in culture media. The biological activity of the released TGFβ2 was evaluated by its ability to affect SMC proliferation as a function of its concentration. SMCs seeded on TGFβ2-loaded scaffolds also showed higher densities and infiltration after 5 days in culture as compared to scaffolds without TGFβ2. Our results demonstrate that the ratio of synthetic and natural polymers in electrospun blends can be used to tune the release of TGFβ2. This method can be used to intelligently modulate the SMC response in gelatin/PCL scaffolds making the TGFβ2-loaded conduits attractive for cardiovascular tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
StatePublished - Apr 10 2019


  • Electrospinning
  • Gelatin
  • Polycaprolactone
  • Smooth muscle cells
  • TGFβ2 release
  • Vascular tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Modulating smooth muscle cell response by the release of TGFβ2 from tubular scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this