Moving from Cellular to Acellular Based Tissue Engineered Vascular Grafts for Use in a Clinical Setting
Koobatian, Maxwell T.
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The discipline of vascular tissue engineering has undergone significant advancements in recent years as technologies have improved and more researchers have participated in this field of research. As cell isolation and differentiation protocols have become more refined, and scaffolding materials more advanced, we have finally witnessed the translation of tissue engineered blood vessels from the laboratory into the clinical setting. This is a significant achievement that will help bring aid to those that suffer from cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, while these advancements are significant, progress is not keeping up with those that need artificial blood vessels. Currently, cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death worldwide, and those in need of arterial bypass graft implantation must rely on autologous grafts (such as saphenous veins and radial arteries) or synthetic grafts (ePTFE) which routinely exhibit poor clinical efficacy. However, while these technological advancements have made it possible to implant laboratory grown TEVs into patients, their implication into the clinical setting is hindered by costs and the time needed to engineer them. The goal of this dissertation is to provide insight into the shift from using cell based TEVs to Acellular TEVs. This change aims to improve the translation of tissue engineered into the clinical setting, and provide a more reliable, robust and cost effective method of treating those in need of vascular grafts.