Panagiotis Mallis1,2, Aggeliki Papapanagiotou2, Eva Kassi2,3, Athanasios Velentzas4, Michalis Katsimpoulas5, Catherine Stavropoulos Giokas1 and Efstathios Michalopoulos1*
1Hellenic Cord Blood Bank, Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens, Greece
2Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
3Department of Internal Medicine, Laiko Hospital, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,
4Department of Biology, Section of Cell Biology and Biophysics, School of Science, National and Kapodistrian
University of Athens, Greece
5Center of Experimental Surgery, Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens, Greece
Background: Primary therapeutic strategy in Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the coronary artery bypass. Damaged coronary vessels need to be replaced with small diameter vascular grafts. Tissue engineering has focused on the production of vascular grafts, although major adverse reactions such as graft calcification, low patency rate and lumen occlusion still exist. This study aimed to the development of re-endothelialized small diameter vascular grafts in order to avoid the aforementioned adverse reactions.Methods: Human umbilical arteries were isolated and decellularized. The evaluation of the decellularization process was assessed by histological analysis. In addition, differentiated Endothelial Cells (ECs) derived from Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (WJ-MSCs) were used for the re-endothelialization process.Results: Our results indicated the successful decellularization of the vessels. Specifically, human Umbilical Arteries (hUAs) were characterized by absence of cellular and nuclear materials, while their extracellular matrix retained intact. Differentiated ECs successfully expressed CD31, VEGF-A, VEGF-R, vWF, FLK-1 and were able to form capillary like structures when cultured in Matrigel. Finally, the re-endothelialization of the decellularized hUAs with the differentiated ECs was successful based on the results of indirect immunofluorescence.Conclusion: In conclusion, the hUAs is a very promising source for the production of small diameter vascular grafts that could be used as coronary artery substitutes.
Human umbilical arteries; Decellularization; Vascular graft; Cardiovascular disease
Mallis P, Papapanagiotou A, Kassi E, Velentzas A, Katsimpoulas M, Giokas CS. Re-Endothelialized Small Diameter Vascular Grafts Derived from Human Umbilical Arteries as Coronary Artery Substitutes. Clin Surg. 2018; 3: 2069.