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In vivo remodeling of fibroblast-derived vascular scaffolds implanted for 6 months in rats

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There is a clinical need for tissue-engineered small-diameter (<6 mm) vascular grafts since clinical applications are halted by the limited suitability of autologous or synthetic grafts. This study uses the self-assembly approach to produce a fibroblast-derived decellularized vascular scaffold (FDVS) that can be available off-the-shelf. Briefly, extracellular matrix scaffolds were produced using human dermal fibroblasts sheets rolled around a mandrel, maintained in culture to allow for the formation of cohesive and three-dimensional tubular constructs, and decellularized by immersion in deionized water. The FDVSs were implanted as an aortic interpositional graft in six Sprague-Dawley rats for 6 months. Five out of the six implants were still patent 6 months after the surgery. Histological analysis showed the infiltration of cells on both abluminal and luminal sides, and immunofluorescence analysis suggested the formation of neomedia comprised of smooth muscle cells and lined underneath with an endothelium. Furthermore, to verify the feasibility of producing tissue-engineered blood vessels of clinically relevant length and diameter, scaffolds with a 4.6 mm inner diameter and 17 cm in length were fabricated with success and stored for an extended period of time, while maintaining suitable properties following the storage period. This novel demonstration of the potential of the FDVS could accelerate the clinical availability of tissue-engineered blood vessels and warrants further preclinical studies.
BioMed Research International, Vol. 2016 (2016)
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article de recherche