AccScience Publishing / IJB / Online First / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.3444

Polyvinyl alcohol-silk fibroin composite stents: A comprehensive investigation into biocompatibility and mechanical performance

Enric Casanova-Batlle1 Maria Ros2 Emma Polonio-Alcalá2 Sira Ausellé-Bosch2 Teresa Puig2 Antonio Guerra3 Joaquim Ciurana1*
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1 Department of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Construction, Escola Politècnica Superior, University of Girona, Girona, Catalunya, Spain
2 Department of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Girona, Girona, Catalunya, Spain
3 AMS Department, Eurecat, Technology Centre of Catalonia, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
Submitted: 18 April 2024 | Accepted: 22 May 2024 | Published: 10 July 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

Bioresorbable stents (BRS) are manufactured using biodegradable materials. As an alternative to those commonly used in commercial stents, this study explored the development of BRS using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and silk fibroin (SF). PVA is a promising material for the fabrication of BRS due to its biocompatibility and mechanical attributes, closely resembling those of aortic vessels. However, its application presents challenges in terms of cell adhesion and proliferation. SF has been extensively studied for its potential to enhance cell adhesion and proliferation, making it a promising biomaterial in the field of medical devices. SF was introduced by dissolving it in a PVA solution or by coating the hydrogel surface with a layer of SF. Initial tests revealed that overnight incubation of fetal bovine serum significantly increased cell viability in hydrogels. Viability assays confirmed that SF substantially improved cell viability compared to PVA alone. The method was extended to fabricate SF-coated stents, which demonstrated robust cell proliferation and improved performance compared to electrospun polycaprolactone scaffolds. In addition, the SF-coated stents displayed an increase in compressive strength, demonstrating improved biocompatibility and mechanical performance. Dynamic mechanical analysis evaluated the positive impact of SF on stent properties at physiological temperatures. The study revealed that PVA-SF stents offer a compromise between biocompatibility, mechanical strength, and elastic recovery, positioning them as a valuable alternative for cardiovascular stent applications. The dual benefits of enhanced biocompatibility and improved mechanical performance make SF-coated stents promising candidates for bioresorbable stent design.  

Silk fibroin
Polyvinyl alcohol
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya through the project BASE3D 001- P-001646, which is co-financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund under the ERDF Operational Program of Catalonia 2014-2020 with a grant of 50% of the total eligible cost. The authors would also like to thank the Generalitat de Catalunya and the European Union for the predoctoral grant FI AGUR 2021FI_B 00363.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing