Decellularized native and engineered arterial scaffolds for transplantation.
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.
Dahl, SLM; Koh, J; Prabhakar, V; Niklason, LE
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