Currently used xenogeneic biological heart valve prostheses are decellularized and crosslinked with glutaraldehyde. These grafts usually undergo degeneration and calcification. Pericardium-based heart valve prostheses, re-seeded with autologous cells, i.e. adipose tissue-derived cells (ASCs) and endothelial cells, could have longer durability and biocompatibility. In order to improve the adhesion of cells and their ingrowth into decellularized pericardium, various fibrin (Fb) layers were developed, i.e. Fb, Fb with covalently bound heparin (H), Fb with either vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) or fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF) in various concentrations (1 ng/ml, 10 ng/ml, 100 ng/ml) or with both VEGF and FGF (100 ng/ml). Growth factors were attached onto Fb via heparin or were adsorbed. ASCs were seeded on theses layers in a DMEM medium supplemented with 2% of fetal bovine serum, TGFβ1 and BMP-4 (both 2.5 ng/ml), and with ascorbic acid. Cell adhesion and growth/viability was assessed by counted cell number/MTS evaluation. ASCs were stained for differentiation markers of smooth muscle cells, such as alpha-actin, calponin, and myosin heavy chain. On day 7, ASCs on Fb_H_VEGF layers produced both calponin and alpha-actin. An increased FGF concentration caused reduced calponin staining of ASCs. Lack of heparin in fibrin assemblies with growth factors inhibited the production of both alpha-actin and calponin in ASCs. The highest ASCs density/viability was found on Fb_H_VEGF_FGF layer. The proper formulation of fibrin coatings could be favorable for ASCs growth and differentiation and could subsequently support endothelialization of cardiovascular prostheses with endothelial cells.Keywords: Adipose tissue-derived stem cells, heart valves, fibrin assemblies, growth factors
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