Polyglycolic acid (PGA) fibre meshes are attractive candidates to transplant cells, but they are incapable of resisting significant compressional forces. To stabilize PGA meshes, atomized solutions of poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) and a 50/50 copolymer of poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) dissolved in chloroform were sprayed over meshes formed into hollow tubes. The PLLA and PLGA coated the PGA fibres and physically bonded adjacent fibres. The pattern and extent of bonding was controlled by the concentration of polymer in the atomized solution and the total mass of polymer sprayed on the device. The compression resistance of devices increased with the extent of bonding, and PLLA bonded tubes resisted larger compressive forces than PLGA bonded tubes. Tubes bonded with PLLA degraded more slowly than devices bonded with PLGA. Implantation of PLLA bonded tubes into rats revealed that the devices maintained their structure during fibrovascular tissue ingrowth, resulting in the formation of a tubular structure with a central lumen. The potential of these devices to engineer specific tissues was exhibited by the finding that smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells seeded onto devices in vitro formed a tubular tissue with appropriate cell distribution.
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