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Decellularized Native and Engineered Arterial Scaffolds for Transplantation

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More than 570,000 coronary artery bypass grafts are implanted each year, creating an important demand for small-diameter vascular grafts. For patients who lack adequate internal mammary artery or saphenous vein, tissue-engineered arteries may prove useful. However, the time needed to tissue engineer arteries (7 weeks or more) is too long for many patients. Decellularized cadaveric human arteries are another possible source of vascular conduit, but limited availability and the potential for disease transmission limit their widespread use. In contrast, decellularized tissue-engineered arteries could serve as grafts for immediate implantation, as scaffolds onto which patients' cells could be seeded, or as carriers for genetically engineered cells to aid cell transplantation. The goal of this study was to quantify the effects of decellularization on vascular matrix and mechanical properties. Specifically, we compared cellular elimination, extracellular matrix retention, and mechanical characteristics of porcine carotid arteries before and after treatment with three decellularization methods. In addition, for the first time, tissue-engineered arteries were decellularized. Decellularized native arteries were also used as a scaffold onto which vascular cells were seeded. These studies identified a decellularization method for native and engineered arteries that maximized cellular elimination, without greatly compromising mechanical integrity. We showed that engineered tissues could be decellularized, and demonstrated the feasibility of reseeding decellularized vessels with vascular cells.
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Keywords: Arteries; Decellularization; Extracellular matrix; Scaffolds; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708 2: ‡Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 3: ┬žBiological Engineering Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 4: †Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708

Publication date: 2002-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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