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J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2016 Jul;10(7):554-63. doi: 10.1002/term.1748. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Functional analysis in vivo of engineered valved venous conduit with decellularized matrix and two bone marrow-derived progenitors in sheep.

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Department of Anatomy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


Tissue engineering has been considered a promising approach for creating grafts to replace autologous venous valves. Here, ovine bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs) were harvested and then loaded into decellularized venous matrix to create tissue-engineered (TE) valved vein. Subsequently, the ovine femoral veins containing the valve were removed and replaced by TE grafts or acellular matrix only. The morphology and function were analysed for up to 1 year by ultrasonography, angiography, H&E staining and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The differentiation of seeded cells was traced immunofluorochemically. The results showed that decellularized venous matrix could initially and feebly attract endogenous cells, but failed afterwards and were insufficient to restore valve function. On the contrary, the seeded cells differentiated into endothelial cells (ECs) in vivo and formed a monolayer endothelium, and smooth muscle cells within the scaffold therefore produced TE grafts comparable to the native vein valve. This TE graft remained patent and sufficient after implantation into the venous circuit of the ovine lower extremity for at least 6 months. Unfortunately, cells seeded on the luminal surface and both sides of the leaflets lost their biological functions at 12 months, resulting in thrombosis formation and leading to complete occlusion of the TE grafts and impotent venous valves. These findings suggest that this TE valved venous conduit can function physiologically in vivo in the medium term. Before translating this TE venous valve into clinical practice, the durability should be improved and thrombogenicity should be suppressed. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


decellularized venous matrix; endothelial progenitor cells; multipotent adult progenitor cells; tissue engineering; venous valve

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