Vascular patches are commonly applied in tissue repair and reconstruction in congenital cardiac surgery. However, the currently available patch materials are inappropriate to be used in the pediatric population due to their lack of supporting tissue growth potential. In our study an active patch material was developed by seeding pediatric patient's bone marrow stem cells on a decellularized aortic extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffold. The patch was then implanted to repair abdominal aorta defects of nude rats. Two months after implantation, tissue remodeling, vascular cell regeneration, and cellular integration were investigated using histology and fluorescent staining. Histology demonstrated infiltration of host cells and formation of organized cell layers as well as intact collagen and elastic fibers inside the patch material. Immunofluorescence indicated regeneration of endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) identified multiple vascularization-promoting components and growth factors in decellularized aortic ECM scaffold. These results demonstrated growth potential and suitability of human derived tissue-engineered patch for vascular reconstruction, and thus, it might be considered in the future as treatment option in pediatric patients.
Keywords: Tissue-engineered vascular patch; extracellular matrix; implantation; remodeling; vascularization.