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J Biomech Eng. 2019 Feb 19. doi: 10.1115/1.4042902. [Epub ahead of print]

Computationally optimizing the compliance of multilayered biomimetic tissue engineered vascular grafts.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.
Protein Genomics, Inc.
Center for Bioengineering Innovation, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011; Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011.
ASME Member, Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, 300 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh, PA, United State 15219.


Coronary artery bypass grafts used to treat coronary artery disease often fail due to compliance mismatch. In this study, we have developed an experimental/computational approach to fabricate an acellular biomimetic hybrid tissue engineered vascular graft composed of alternating layers of electrospun porcine gelatin/polycaprolactone (PCL) and human tropoelastin/PCL blends with the goal of compliance-matching to rat abdominal aorta, while maintaining specific geometrical constraints. Polymeric blends at three different gelatin:PCL (G:PCL) and tropoelastin:PCL (T:PCL) ratios (80:20, 50:50 and 20:80) were mechanically characterized. The stress-strain data was used to develop predictive models, which were used as part of an optimization scheme that was implemented to determine the ratios of G:PCL and T:PCL and the thickness of the individual layers within a tissue engineered vascular graft that would compliance match a target compliance value. The hypocompliant, isocompliant, and hypercompliant grafts had target compliance values of 0.000256, 0.000568 and 0.000880 mmHg-1, respectively. Experimental validation of the optimization demonstrated that the hypercompliant and isocompliant grafts were not statistically significant from their respective target compliance values (p-value=0.37 and 0.89, respectively). The experimental compliance value of the hypocompliant graft was statistically significant than their target compliance value (p-value=0.047). We have successfully demonstrated a design optimization scheme that can be used to fabricate multilayered and biomimetic vascular grafts with targeted geometry and compliance.

[Available on 2020-06-01]

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