With the University of Pittsburgh's development of a cell-free, biodegradable artery graft comes a potentially transformative change in coronary artery bypass surgeries: Within 90 days after surgery, the patient will have a regenerated artery with no trace of synthetic graft materials left in the body.
Research published online June 24 in Nature Medicine highlights work led by principal investigator Yadong Wang, a professor in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering and School of Medicine's Department of Surgery, who designed grafts that fully harness the body's regenerative capacity. This new approach is a philosophical shift from the predominant cell-centered approaches in tissue engineering of blood vessels.
"The host site, the artery in this case, is an excellent source of cells and provides a very efficient growth environment," said Wang. "This is what inspired us to skip the cell culture altogether and create these cell-free synthetic grafts."
Wang and fellow researchers, Wei Wu, a former Pitt postdoctoral associate (now a postdoctoral associate at Yale University), and Robert Allen, a PhD student in bioengineering, designed the graft with three properties in mind. First, they chose a graft material—an elastic polymer called PGS—that is resorbed quickly by the body. Then, they examined graft porosity and selected parameters that allow immediate cell infiltration. Wang's team borrowed a procedure developed by another team of Pitt researchers—David Vorp, professor of bioengineering and surgery, and William R. Wagner, interim director of the University's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and a Pitt professor of surgery, bioengineering, and chemical engineering—wrapping the vascular graft with a fibrous sheath to trap the cells. Finally, Wang and his fellow researchers wanted a coating for the grafts that would reduces blood clotting and bind many growth factors, so they used heparin, a molecule that does just that.
"The results were porous grafts that are suturable," said Wang. "And the rapid remodeling of the grafts led to strong and compliant new arteries. The extent of the changes in the grafts that occurred in just 90 days was remarkable."
Wang and his colleagues made grafts as small as 1 mm in diameter and monitored the graft's transformation in vivo for three months. Because the graft was highly porous, cells were easily able to penetrate the graft wall, and mononuclear cells occupied many of the pores within three days. Within 14 days, smooth muscle cells—an important blood vessel builder—appeared. At 28 days, cells were distributed more evenly throughout the graft. At 90 days, most inflammatory cells were gone, which correlated with the disappearance of the graft materials. The artery was regenerated in situ and pulsed in sync with the host. Furthermore, the composition and properties of the new arteries are nearly the same as native arteries.
"This report is the first that shows a nearly complete transformation of a synthetic plastic tube to a new host artery with excellent integration within three months," said Wang. "Most likely, the amount of time it takes to regenerate an artery can be further shortened as we refine the system."
Current approaches toward tissue-engineered arteries require a long production cycle because of the required cell culture steps. The newly developed graft is made in a few days, stores in a dry pouch at ambient temperature, and is readily available off the shelf. The ease of use and storage are similar to the conventional Dacron® grafts.
The project was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.
B. Rose Huber | EurekAlert!
Researchers find new potential approach to type 2 diabetes treatment
11.11.2019 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Why beta-blockers cause skin inflammation
07.11.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.
New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...
If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.
Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...
Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...
In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.
An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...
An international research group has observed new quantum properties on an artificial giant atom and has now published its results in the high-ranking journal Nature Physics. The quantum system under investigation apparently has a memory - a new finding that could be used to build a quantum computer.
The research group, consisting of German, Swedish and Indian scientists, has investigated an artificial quantum system and found new properties.
05.11.2019 | Event News
30.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
13.11.2019 | Materials Sciences
13.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
13.11.2019 | Life Sciences