Article Text

Original research
Cellular responses to flow diverters in a tissue-engineered aneurysm model


Background Notwithstanding the widespread implementation of flow diverters (FDs) in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms, the exact mechanism of action of these devices remains elusive. We aimed to advance the understanding of cellular responses to FD implantation using a 3D tissue-engineered in vitro aneurysm model.

Methods Aneurysm-like blood vessel mimics (aBVMs) were constructed by electrospinning polycaprolactone nanofibers onto desired aneurysm-like geometries. aBVMs were seeded with human aortic smooth muscle cells (SMCs) followed by human aortic endothelial cells (ECs). FDs were then deployed in the parent vessel of aBVMs covering the aneurysm neck and were cultivated for 7, 14, or 28 days (n=3 for each time point). The EC and SMC coverage in the neck was measured semi-quantitatively.

Results At day 7, the device segment in contact with the parent vessel was partially endothelialized. Also, the majority of device struts, but not pores, at the parent vessel and neck interface were partially covered with ECs and SMCs, while device struts in the middle of the neck lacked cell coverage. At 14 days, histology verified a neointimal-like lining had formed, partially covering both the struts and pores in the center of the neck. At 28 days, the majority of the neck was covered with a translucent neointimal-like layer. A higher degree of cellular coverage was seen on the struts and pores at the neck at 28 days compared with both 7 and 14 days.

Conclusion aBVMs can be a valuable alternative tool for evaluating the healing mechanisms of endovascular aneurysm devices.

  • aneurysm
  • flow diverter
  • device

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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