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Tools and procedures for ex vivo vein arterialization, preconditioning and tissue engineering: a step forward to translation to combat the consequences of vascular graft remodeling.

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Dipartimento di Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133, Milan, Italy.


The present contribution reviews recent progress in bioengineering approaches used to mimic arterial hemodynamic conditions in vascular grafts and vessel substitutes used in vascular surgery. While implantation of vascular bypasses is still the primary option for cardiac and vascular surgeons to recover blood perfusion in cardiac and peripheral ischemic tissues, effective techniques to reduce the impact of post-grafting vascular remodeling are insufficient. In our view, the design of specific bioreactors to perform vascular conditioning with complex stimulation patterns will provide valuable tools for comprehensive molecular analysis of vessel arterialization process. In addition, this approach will allow the future design of refined protocols to perform pre-conditioning of natural vessels, reseeding of human or animalderived decellularized vascular grafts or, finally, derivation of fully engineered arterial-compliant substitutes, with a reduced remodeling impact.

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