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Open Access Bypassing the Patient: Comparison of Biocompatible Models for the Future of Vascular Tissue Engineering

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The objective of vascular tissue engineering is to develop tissue-engineered, biocompatible, small-diameter vessels suitable to withstand in vivo systolic pressures as well as be immunologically compatible with the patient, in order to minimize graft rejection. In this study, we present and compare two models of biocompatible, tissue-engineered vascular grafts (TEVG), using chitosan and acellularized rat aortas as options for scaffolds. Human aortic adventitial smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts were seeded onto a fibrin gel and subsequently wrapped around either of the two scaffolds. After several weeks of maturation in standard culturing conditions, the graft models were analyzed and compared by mechanical testing, cell viability, and histology. Histological and viability data showed that both models were viable and developed similarly, with a scaffold surrounded by two layers of cells, the fibroblasts lying on top of the smooth muscle cells. Both models responded to 200 mM potassium chloride (KCl) (tensions of 38 ± 3, 78 ± 13, and 52 ± 7 μN) and 25 mM 8-bromo-cyclic AMP (tensions of −23 ± 4, −39 ± 10, and −31 ± 12 μN) stimulation by vasoconstriction and vasorelaxation (n = 3), respectively; however, the chitosan model was unable to maintain the contracted and relaxed tension. Because the acellularized aorta TEVGs were able to maintain stimulated tension better than chitosan TEVGs, we concluded that the acellularized aorta model was better suited for further development.

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Keywords: Endothelial cells; Fibrinogen/fibrin; Fibroblasts; Smooth muscle cells; Tissue engineering; Vascular graft; Vasocontraction; Vasorelaxation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Section of Cardiac Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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  • 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.

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