RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—Researchers have reported that bioengineered veins, also known as tissue-engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs), available at surgery had a decreased potential for infection, obstruction or clotting, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue Science Translational Medicine.
The bioengineered veins could be used in dialysis vascular access and for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
In this research, bioengineered veins were generated in a bioreactor, decellularized, and stored up to 12 months in refrigerated conditions. Then bioengineered veins (3-6mm in diameter) demonstrated excellent blood flow and resistance to occlusion in large animal models for up to one year, according to the study.
“Most AV grafts that are placed for hemodialysis access are comprised of a synthetic material, which suffers from significant drawbacks including a high rate of infection, or a propensity for occlusion due to thrombosis and intimal hyperplasia,” said Jeffrey H. Lawson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine and an author of the research. “Due to high complication rates, each AV dialysis graft requires an average of 2.8 interventions over its lifetime just to keep it functioning. Hence, there is a huge clinical need for a functionally superior, off-the-shelf, AV graft that suffers from fewer complications than current materials.”
The research was conducted by scientists from Duke University, East Carolina University, Yale University, and Humacyte, and was funded by Humacyte. Overseeing the research and senior author of the article was Laura Niklason, MD, PhD, founder of Humacyte, and Professor of Anesthesiology and of Biomedical Engineering at Yale University.
“Not only are bioengineered veins available at the time of patient need, but the ability to generate a significant number of grafts from a cell bank will allow for a reduction in the final production costs, as compared to other regenerative medicine strategies,” added lead author Shannon L. M. Dahl, Senior Director of Scientific Operations and Co-Founder of Humacyte Inc. “While there is still considerable research to be done before a product is available for widespread use, we are highly encouraged by the results outlined in this paper and eager to move forward with additional study.”