Tissue-engineered vascular grafts containing adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells offer an alternative to small-diameter vascular grafts currently used in cardiac and lower-extremity revascularization procedures. Adipose-derived, mesenchymal stem cell–infused, tissue-engineered vascular grafts have been shown to promote remodeling and vascular homeostasis in vivo and offer a possible treatment solution for those with cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, the time needed to cultivate adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells remains a large hurdle for tissue-engineered vascular grafts as a treatment option. The purpose of this study was to determine if stromal vascular fraction (known to contain progenitor cells) seeded tissue-engineered vascular grafts would remain patent in vivo and remodel, allowing for a “same-day” process for tissue-engineered vascular graft fabrication and implantation.Methods
Stromal vascular fraction, obtained from adult human adipose tissue, was seeded within 4 hours after acquisition from the patient onto poly(ester urethane)urea bilayered scaffolds using a customized rotational vacuum seeding device. Constructs were then surgically implanted as abdominal aortic interposition grafts in Lewis rats.Results
Findings revealed patency in 5 of 7 implanted scaffolds at 8 weeks, along with neotissue formation and remodeling occurring in patent tissue-engineered vascular grafts. Patency was documented using angiography and gross inspection, and remodeling and vascular components were detected using immunofluorescent chemistry.Conclusions
A “same-day” cell-seeded, tissue-engineered vascular graft can remain patent after implantation in vivo, with neotissue formation and remodeling occurring by 8 weeks.