Effective application of elastin materials for vascular grafts in tissue engineering requires these materials to retain the elastic and biological properties of native elastin. To clarify the influence of soluble elastin isotypes on vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), soluble elastin was prepared from insoluble elastin by hydrolysis with oxalic acid. Its fractions were separated and classified into three isotypes. Elastin retaining 2.25 mol% of cross-linked structures exhibited significant differentiation of VSMCs, which adhered to the elastin with contraction phenotypes similar to that of native elastin, causing proliferation to cease. This trend was more strongly demonstrated in cotton-like elastin fibers with a new cross-linker. The results suggest that elastin isotypes could be applied as new effective biomaterials for suppressing intimal hyperplasia in vascular grafts. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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