Biodegradable artery graft to enhance bypass surgeries

With the University of Pittsburgh’s development of a cell-free, biodegradable artery graft comes a potentially transformative change in coronary artery bypass surgeries: Within 90 days after surgery, the patient will have a regenerated artery with no trace of synthetic graft materials left in the body.
Research published highlights work led by principal investigator Yadong Wang, a professor in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering and School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery, who designed grafts that fully harness the body’s regenerative capacity. This new approach is a philosophical shift from the predominant cell-centred approaches in tissue engineering of blood vessels.
‘The host site, the artery in this case, is an excellent source of cells and provides a very efficient growth environment,’ said Wang. ‘This is what inspired us to skip the cell culture altogether and create these cell-free synthetic grafts.’
Wang and fellow researchers, Wei Wu, a former Pitt postdoctoral associate (now a postdoctoral associate at Yale University), and Robert Allen, a PhD student in bioengineering, designed the graft with three properties in mind. First, they chose a graft material