In vivo study of a model tissue-engineered small-diameter vascular bypass graft

Authors

  • Mo Baguneid,

    1. Department of Vascular Surgery, Manchester Medical School, Manchester, UK
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  • Achala de Mel,

    1. Centre for Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK
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  • Lara Yildirimer,

    1. Centre for Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK
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  • Barry J. Fuller,

    1. Centre for Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK
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  • George Hamilton,

    1. Centre for Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK
    2. Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust Hospital, London, UK
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  • Alexander M. Seifalian

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK
    2. Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust Hospital, London, UK
    • FIoN, Professor, Centre for Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK; Tel.: +44 20 7830 2901; Fax: +44 20 7472 6444
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Abstract

Conventionally used vascular grafts such as polyester (Dacron) or expanded polytetrafluoroethylene perform inadequately as small-diameter vascular bypass grafts (SDBGs). SDBGs, which can maintain long-term patency and those that could potentially evolve with the somatic growth, are highly desirable in vascular surgery and thus research into tissue-engineered blood vessels (TEBVs) is of keen interest. A TEBV was developed by seeding endothelial cells onto a collagen matrix that was cross-linked and contracted by smooth muscle cells (SMCs). A polyester graft served as a scaffold. Recovery studies (12 TEBVs and seven controls) were carried out to assess in vivo endothelialization and long-term patency of TEBVs. Hemodynamic observations indicated para-anastomotic turbulences and high shear stress at anastomosis. Recovery studies demonstrated confluent endothelialization, thrombus-free surfaces, and patent TEBVs in all cases. Graft incorporation and neovascularization of the scaffold occurred in both hybrid and control grafts. However, thickened neointima formation occurred in TEBV grafts, which was most likely caused by the rigidity of polyester scaffold. Significant perigraft inflammatory changes could be observed in both TEBVs and control grafts at 1, 4, and 8 weeks. In conclusion, the TEBVs demonstrated satisfactory performance as an infra–renal–aortic graft in a porcine model. The TEBV serves as a promising model and facilitates the development of a TEBV in a clinical setting, potentially with human stem cells and with more biocompatible, biodegradable scaffolds that are mechanically more compliant with natural vessels.

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