For decades, researchers have investigated the ideal material for clinical use in the cardiovascular field. Several substitute materials are used clinically, but each has drawbacks. Recently we developed biodegradable and elastic poly(ε-caprolactone-co-D,L-lactide) (P(CL-DLLA)) copolymers by adjusting the CL/DLLA composition, and evaluated the long-term efficacy and outcomes of these copolymers when used for right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) replacement. This P(CL-DLLA) material was processed into a circular patch and used to replace a surgical defect in the RVOT of adult rats. Control rats were implanted with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). Histologic evaluation was performed at 8, 24, and 48 weeks post-surgery. All animals survived the surgery with no aneurysm formation or thrombus. In all periods, ePTFE demonstrated fibrous tissue. In contrast, at 8 weeks P(CL-DLLA) showed infiltration of macrophages and fibroblast-like cells into the remaining material. At 24 weeks, P(CL-DLLA) was absorbed completely, and muscle-like tissue was present with positive staining for α-sarcomeric actinin and cardiac troponin T (cTnT). At 48 weeks, the cTnT-positive area had increased. The biodegradable and elastic P(CL-DLLA) induced cardiac regeneration throughout the 48-week study period. Future application of this material as a cardiovascular scaffold seems promising. Statement of significance: Biomaterials for reconstruction of tissue deficiencies in cardiovascular surgery require having suitable mechanical properties for cardiac tissue and biodegradation resulting in native tissue growth. Several biodegradable polymers such as poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) and polylactic acid (PLA) have excellent biocompatibility and already been widely used clinically. In general, PCL and PLA are quite mechanically rigid. Meanwhile, significant elasticity is required in the high-pressure environment of the heart while the material is being replaced by new tissue. The present study provides a novel four-armed crosslinked poly(ε-caprolactone-co-D,L-lactide) (i.e., P(CL-DLLA)) material for cardiac patch, which was demonstrated properties including tissue-compatible, super-elastic nature, that made it suitable for long-term, in vivo RVOT repair. This super-elastic biomaterial could be useful for reconstruction of various muscular tissues deficiencies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology