A novel tissue engineering approach using an endothelial progenitor cell-seeded biopolymer to treat intracranial saccular aneurysms

J Neurosurg. 2012 Sep;117(3):546-54. doi: 10.3171/2012.5.JNS091308. Epub 2012 Jun 29.


Object: Recurrence after endovascular coiling of intracranial aneurysms is reported in up to 42% of cases and is attributed to the lack of endothelialization across the neck. In this study the authors used a novel tissue engineering approach to promote endothelialization by seeding endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) within a fibrin polymer injected endovascularly into the aneurysm.

Methods: Experimental aneurysms were created in New Zealand White rabbits and were left untreated, surgically clipped, or embolized with platinum coils, fibrin biopolymer alone, or fibrin combined with autologous cultured EPCs.

Results: In aneurysms treated with EPCs, a confluent monolayer of endothelial cells with underlying neointima was demonstrated across the neck at 16 weeks posttreatment, which was not observed with aneurysms treated using the other methods.

Conclusions: This novel technique may address reasons for the limited durability of standard coil embolization and provides further avenues for the development of improved devices for the care of patients with aneurysms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopolymers*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods
  • Female
  • Fibrin*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Models, Animal
  • Rabbits
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods


  • Biopolymers
  • Fibrin