Tissue engineering of acellular vascular grafts capable of somatic growth in young lambs

Zeeshan H Syedain, Jay Reimer, Matthew Lahti, James Berry, Sandra Johnson, Robert T Tranquillo

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62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Treatment of congenital heart defects in children requiring right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction typically involves multiple open-heart surgeries because all existing graft materials have no growth potential. Here we present an € off-the-shelf' vascular graft grown from donor fibroblasts in a fibrin gel to address this critical unmet need. In a proof-of-concept study, the decellularized grafts are implanted as a pulmonary artery replacement in three young lambs and evaluated to adulthood. Longitudinal ultrasounds document dimensional growth of the grafts. The lambs show normal growth, increasing body weight by 366% and graft diameter and volume by 56% and 216%, respectively. Explanted grafts display physiological strength and stiffness, complete lumen endothelialization and extensive population by mature smooth muscle cells. The grafts also show substantial elastin deposition and a 465% increase in collagen content, without signs of calcification, aneurysm or stenosis. Collectively, our data support somatic growth of this completely biological graft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12951
JournalNature communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 27 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was provided by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the NIH Award Number UL1TR000114 and NIH HL107572 (to R.T.T).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

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