Assessment of thermally stabilized electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) materials as cell permeable membranes for a novel blood salvage device

W Joseph A Homer, Maxim Lisnenko, Adrian C Gardner, Eva K Kostakova, Jan Valtera, Ivan B Wall, Vera Jencova, Paul D Topham, Eirini Theodosiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of Intraoperative Cell Salvage (ICS) is currently limited in oncological surgeries, due to safety concerns associated with the ability of existing devices to successfully remove circulating tumour cells. In this work, we present the first stages towards the creation of an alternative platform to current cell savers, based on the extremely selective immunoaffinity membrane chromatography principle. Non-woven membranes were produced via electrospinning using poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), and further heat treated at 180 °C to prevent their dissolution in aqueous environments and preserve their fibrous morphology. The effects of the PVA degree of hydrolysis (DH) (98 % vs 99 %), method of electrospinning (needleless DC vs AC), and heat treatment duration (1-8 h) were investigated. All heat treated supports maintained their cytocompatibility, whilst tensile tests indicated that the 99 % hydrolysed DC electrospun mats were stronger compared to their 98 % DH counterparts. Although, and at the described conditions, AC electrospinning produced fibres with more than double the diameter compared to those from DC electrospinning, it was not chosen for subsequent experiments because it is still under development. Evidence of unimpeded passage of SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and undiluted defibrinated sheep's blood in flow-through filtration experiments confirmed the successful creation of 3D networks with minimum resistance to mass transfer and lack of non-specific cell binding to the base material, paving the way for the development of novel, highly selective ICS devices for tumour surgeries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213197
Number of pages15
JournalBiomaterials Advances
Early online date17 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022, The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( Funding: This work was supported by the Royal Society International Exchanges grant IES\R3\183098, the Birmingham Orthopaedic Charity, and the Czech Health Research Council project No NV18-01-00332.


  • Cell salvage
  • Membrane chromatography
  • Non-woven fibres
  • Biomaterials
  • Medical devices


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