Fabrication of triple-layered vascular grafts composed of silk fibers, polyacrylamide hydrogel, and polyurethane nanofibers with biomimetic mechanical properties

Hao Yang Mi, Yongchao Jiang, Xin Jing, Eduardo Enriquez, Heng Li, Qian Li, Lih Sheng Turng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Mimicking the mechanical properties of native tissue is an important requirement for tissue engineering scaffolds. Blood vessels are subject to repetitive dilation and contraction and possess a special nonlinear mechanical property due to their triple-layered structure. Fabrication of vascular grafts consisting of bioresorbable materials with biomimetic mechanical properties is an urgent demand, as well as a critical challenge. Inspired by the configuration and function of collagen and elastin in native blood vessels, a new type of triple-layered vascular graft (TLVG) was developed in this study. The TLVGs were composed of braided silk as the inner layer, polyacrylamide (PAM) hydrogel as the middle layer, and electrospun thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) as the outer layer. The woven-structured silk fibers were able to mimic the properties of the loosely distributed collagen fibers, while the highly elastic PAM hydrogel and TPU nanofibers mimicked the elasticity of elastin in the blood vessel. With this specially designed microstructure and combination of rigid and elastic materials, the TLVGs successfully mimicked the nonlinear mechanical property of native blood vessels. Moreover, TLVGs possess sufficient suture retention strength for surgical implantation. The introduction of a PAM hydrogel layer effectively solved the leaking issue for conventional porous vascular grafts and greatly enhanced the burst pressure. In addition, all materials used have high biocompatibility to human endothelial cells, which indicates that the developed TLVGs have high potential to be used as readily available vascular grafts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • Biocompatibility
  • Biomimetic
  • Mechanical properties
  • Tissue engineering
  • Vascular grafts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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