Implementation of small-diameter tissue-engineered vascular grafts (TEVGs) into clinical practice is still delayed due to the frequent complications, including thrombosis, aneurysms, neointimal hyperplasia, calcification, atherosclerosis, and infection. Here, we conjugated a vasodilator/platelet inhibitor, iloprost, and an antimicrobial cationic amphiphilic drug, 1,5-bis-(4-tetradecyl-1,4-diazoniabicyclo [2.2.2]octan-1-yl) pentane tetrabromide, to the luminal surface of electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) TEVGs for preventing thrombosis and infection, additionally enveloped such TEVGs into the PCL sheath to preclude aneurysms, and implanted PCL TEVGs into the ovine carotid artery (n = 12) for 6 months. The primary patency was 50% (6/12 animals). TEVGs were completely replaced with the vascular tissue, free from aneurysms, calcification, atherosclerosis and infection, completely endothelialised, and had clearly distinguishable medial and adventitial layers. Comparative proteomic profiling of TEVGs and contralateral carotid arteries found that TEVGs lacked contractile vascular smooth muscle cell markers, basement membrane components, and proteins mediating antioxidant defense, concurrently showing the protein signatures of upregulated protein synthesis, folding and assembly, enhanced energy metabolism, and macrophage-driven inflammation. Collectively, these results suggested a synchronised replacement of PCL with a newly formed vascular tissue but insufficient compliance of PCL TEVGs, demanding their testing in the muscular artery position or stimulation of vascular smooth muscle cell specification after the implantation.
About The Expert