New strategies for in vivo tissue engineering by mimicry of homing factors for self-endothelialisation of blood contacting materials
For years intensive research has been done to endothelialise vascular prostheses with autologous endothelial cells before implantation in patients. However, this procedure is extremely time-, labor- and cost-intensive and can be realized only in very few clinical cases. The discovery of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in 1997 brought new perspectives for the endothelialisation of blood contacting materials. Coating of synthetic graft surfaces with capture molecules for circulating EPCs mimics a pro-homing substrate for fishing out EPCs directly from the bloodstream after implantation. These cells with high proliferation potential can cover the graft with non-thrombogenic endothelium which maintains optimal haemostasis and minimize the risk of restenosis. In this review, different concepts are discussed to capture circulating EPCs on synthetic vascular grafts after implantation. We hypothesize that in vivo self-endothelialisation of blood contacting materials by homing factor-mimetic capture molecules for EPCs may bring revolutionary new perspectives towards future clinical application of stem cell and tissue engineering strategies.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 29, Issue 29, October 2008, Pages 3936–3945