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In vivo Anastomosis of Tissue Engineered Vascular Network
Yoshiko Toyoda, B.A., Kerry A. Morrison, B.A., Ope A. Asanbe, M.D., Alice Harper, B.A., Xue Dong, B.A., Ross Weinreb, B.S., Jason A. Spector, M.D. F.A.C.S..
Laboratory of Bioregenerative Medicine & Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.

PURPOSE:
An obstacle in modern tissue engineering is the inability to create constructs with their own inherent vascular networks. Such an experimental model would be a step toward the construction of clinically applicable artificial tissue for transplantation. Previously, we fabricated a cellularized, biocompatible, vascular construct with smooth muscle and endothelial lining comparable to native vessels. Herein, a biocompatible vascular construct was microsurgically anastomosed to rat native vessels.
METHODS:
Two 2mm diameter by 7mm length channels made of GoreTex were bridged by a U-shaped loop made of Pluronic F127 macrofiber, which sacrificed in 1% type I collagen. A Sprague Dawley rat right femoral artery and vein were isolated, heparinized (100 units/1ml saline), and anastomosed to the construct fabric catheters using 9-0 sutures.
RESULTS:
Anastomosis of the tissue engineered vascular construct was successful in vivo. The fabric catheters were well integrated in the collagen scaffold, and the sacrificial channel was patent. The construct maintained its structure throughout the length of the surgery, and continuous flow from the arterial to the venous side of the construct was observed.
CONCLUSION:
We successfully fabricated and anastomosed a biocompatible, vascularized tissue engineered construct. In addition to studying its microvascular architecture and its response to various stimuli in vivo, this prototype may be developed to recapitulate full-thickness skin flaps. Our innovative, tissue engineered construct holds tremendous promise for the future of microsurgery and artificial tissue transplantation.


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