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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 685426, 9 pages
Research Article

Blood Vessel-Derived Acellular Matrix for Vascular Graft Application

1Istituto Oncologico Veneto, 35131 Padua, Italy
2Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padua, Via Marzolo 5, 35131 Padua, Italy

Received 21 March 2014; Revised 12 June 2014; Accepted 7 July 2014; Published 16 July 2014

Academic Editor: Luca Urbani

Copyright © 2014 Luigi Dall’Olmo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To overcome the issues connected to the use of autologous vascular grafts and artificial materials for reconstruction of small diameter (<6 mm) blood vessels, this study aimed to develop acellular matrix- (AM-) based vascular grafts. Rat iliac arteries were decellularized by a detergent-enzymatic treatment, whereas endothelial cells (ECs) were obtained through enzymatic digestion of rat skin followed by immunomagnetic separation of CD31-positive cells. Sixteen female Lewis rats (8 weeks old) received only AM or previously in vitro reendothelialized AM as abdominal aorta interposition grafts (about 1 cm). The detergent-enzymatic treatment completely removed the cellular part of vessels and both MHC class I and class II antigens. One month after surgery, the luminal surface of implanted AMs was partially covered by ECs and several platelets adhered in the areas lacking cell coverage. Intimal hyperplasia, already detected after 1 month, increased at 3 months. On the contrary, all grafts composed by AM and ECs were completely covered at 1 month and their structure was similar to that of native vessels at 3 months. Taken together, our findings show that prostheses composed of AM preseeded with ECs could be a promising approach for the replacement of blood vessels.