First successful clinical application of tissue engineered blood vessel

Narutoshi Hibino, Y. Imai, T. Shin-oka, M. Aoki, M. Watanabe, Y. Kosaka, G. Matsumura, T. Konuma, S. Toyama, A. Murata, Y. Naito, T. Miyake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With this tissue engineering (TE) technique, the peripheral pulmonary artery was successfully reconstructed, using the patient's own venous cells in a 4-year-old girl, 2 years after Fontan procedure. A 4-year-old girl was given a diagnosis of single right ventricle, double-outlet right ventricle and pulmonary atresia. She underwent left modified Blalock-Taussig shunt at a month old, pulmonary artery angioplasty at a year and 3 months old, and bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt at 2 years and a month old. She underwent again pulmonary artery angioplasty and Fontan operation at 3 years and 3 months. An angiographical examination 7 months after the operation revealed total occlusion of the right intermediate pulmonary artery. TE technique using autologous cells was indicated. The application of this procedure was approved by the ethical committee in Tokyo Women's Medical University. The patient's parents were thoroughly informed and signed a consent form. Approximately 2 cm of the peripheral vein was explanted under sterile conditions. The tissue was minced, placed in tissue culture dishes and cultured at 37 degrees C, 100% humidity and a 5% CO2 atmosphere for almost a month. The number of cells substantially increased to reach 12 millions for almost a month. The culture medium was changed every 3 days. The polymer tube that served as a scaffold for cells was composed of the copolymer of PCL-PLA (50:50) with reinforcement by woven PGA. The polymer conduit, 10 mm in diameter, 20 mm in length and 1 mm in thickness, was designated to biodegradate within 8 weeks. The number of seeded cells was approximately a million/cm2. The graft transplantation was performed 10 days after seeding cells. The occlusive right intermediate pulmonary artery was reconstructed with the TE vessel graft under extracorporeal circulation with a pump-oxygenator. The patient followed a satisfactory postoperative course. The postoperative angiography demonstrated that the graft was not constricted and dilated but that it preserved good patency. Long-term follow-up are necessary. We plan to continue to use the TE technique using autologous cells in the low pressure system like venous or pulmonary circulation. Because our results even in early experimental phase were valuable and promising, we believe that the TE approach may play an important role in the near future as an another alternative, together with transplantation and artificial organ, especially in the field of cardiovascular surgery that mostly needs replants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-373
Number of pages6
JournalKyobu geka. The Japanese journal of thoracic surgery
Volume55
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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