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High kink resistance nanofiber tissue engineered vascular in an ovine model
Hiroshi Matsushita, MD1, Shanxiu Xu1, Yusheng He, PhD1, Vivian Nguyen1, Takahiro Inoue, MD, PhD1, Katherine Nurminsky1, Daniel Rodgers1, Kevin Nelson2, Jed Johnson2, Narutoshi Hibino3.
1University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA, 2Nanofiber Solutions, Columbus, OH, USA, 3University of Chicago, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Advocate Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA.

Introduction Small diameter grafts are often used in the pediatric cardiovascular surgical field. Tissue engineering vascular grafts(TEVGs)have the potential to overcome these problems, but they are rigid and prone to kinking. In addition, the pressure resistance of the graft can be a problem in the arterial system. We have created corrugated TEVGs and studied them within a large animal model, including the necessity for their reinforcement. Methods TEVGs with corrugated walls were created by electrospinning using a blend of poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) and poly(L-lactide-co-caprolactone) (PLCL). We also created a graft wrapped with Polydioxanone (PDO). The biodegradable grafts were then implanted between the carotid artery and the external jugular vein in a U-shape within ovine models. The PCL-PLCL graft was implanted on one side of a sheep and the PCL-PLCL wrapped with PDO was implanted on the other side (n=3, grafts=6). The grafts were explanted three months after implantation and were analyzed mechanically and histologically. Results All sheep survived postoperatively. The average graft patency rate of both grafts was 66.7% (two grafts out of three) with one graft in both groups becoming occluded in the early phase after implantation. There was no significant kinking of grafts. Overall, re-endothelialization was observed in the grafts three month after the surgeries without graft rupture, calcification, or aneurysmal change. Conclusions Our novel corrugated nanofiber vascular graft displayed neotissue formation without kinking or rupture in large animal model.


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