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Development and evaluation of small-diameter arterial vascular grafts through tissue engineering techniques based on mesenchymal stem cells


There is a growing demand for replacement alternatives for small-caliber blood vessels, given the significant increase in the prevalence of morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease observed worldwide. Tissue engineering has emerged as an alternative to traditional autografts and synthetic materials for small vessels and as well as as a promising therapy for coronary artery disease and vascular surgery. The aim of this project is to create a small-caliber arterial graft by using a new approach to traditional tissue engineering techniques. The conventional cell-sheet-based approach will be associated with the use of a biomaterial, poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC), as a platform for cell culture and strengthening of the biomechanical properties of the graft. The resulting vascular graft will be investigated in vitro and in vivo in order to determine its chemical, physical and biological characteristics. Briefly, the present project is divided in four parts: 1) design and characterization of PTMC membranes and tubes; 2) evaluation of the behavior of adipocyte-derived stem cells on PTMC membranes; 3) preparation, characterization and in vitro evaluation of vascular grafts; and 4) in vivo evaluation of vascular grafts. In vivo experiments will be performed on a rabbit animal model. If successful, the present project will allow the manufacture of small-caliber vascular grafts for arterial revascularization. (AU)

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