Small-caliber synthetic grafts used for coronary bypass artery grafting are compromised by thrombogenicity and accelerated intimal thickening, resulting in early graft occlusion. Herein we describe the fabrication and physical properties of small-caliber blood vessels using decellularized porcine aortic segments. These vessels were further coated with human saphenous vein endothelial cells (HSVECs) for future clinical applications. Chemical staining of decellularized vessels showed that they preserved their native matrix architecture, including several collagen layers in between internal and external elastin layers. The burst pressure for the decellularized vessels was higher than 1,000 mmHg. HSVECs, seeded on the luminal side, adhered to the matrix and formed a uniform monolayer. HSVEC-seeded vessels produced prostaglandin I 2 and released vasoactive agents in response to the calcium ionophore A23187. These results show that engineered blood vessels coated with the host endothelial cells possess morphologic and functional characteristics of human small-caliber vessels. Tissue-engineered vessels may potentially be useful clinically as vascular grafts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology