The Development of a Tissue-Engineered Artery Using Decellularized Scaffold and Autologous Ovine Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Biomaterials. 2010 Jan;31(2):296-307. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.09.049. Epub 2009 Oct 12.


Alternatives to using native arteries in vascular surgery are urgently needed. Vessels made from synthetic polymers have shortcomings such as thrombosis, rejection, intimal hyperplasia, calcification, infection, chronic inflammation and no growth potential. Tissue-engineered blood vessels (TEBV) may overcome these problems. We developed a tissue-engineered artery using autologous bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and a decellularized arterial scaffold. Vascular smooth muscle cell (SMCs)-like cells and endothelial cell (ECs)-like cells were differentiated from MSCs in vitro. We constructed TEBV by seeding these autologous cells onto decellularized ovine carotid arteries and interposed into the carotid arteries in an ovine host models. The scaffold retained the main structural components of a blood vessel, such as collagen and elastin. The TEBVs were patent, anti-thrombogenic, and mechanically stable for 5 months in vivo, whereas non-seeded grafts occluded within 2 weeks. Histological, immunohistochemical, and electron microscopic analyses of the TEBVs demonstrated the existence of endothelium, smooth muscle and the presence of collagen and elastin both at 2 and 5 months, respectively. MSCs labeled with a fluorescent dye prior to implantation were detected in the harvested TE artery 2 months after implantation, indicating that the MSCs survived and contributed to the vascular tissue regeneration. Therefore, TEBVs can be assembled from autologous MSCs and decellularized bioscaffold.

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • Animals
  • Arteries / cytology
  • Arteries / physiology*
  • Arteries / surgery
  • Arteries / ultrastructure
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Materials Testing
  • Mechanical Phenomena
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / ultrastructure
  • Pressure
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Sheep
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Vascular Patency / physiology