Fibrin: A Natural Biodegradable Scaffold in Vascular Tissue EngineeringShaikh F.M.a, b · Callanan A.b · Kavanagh E.G.a, b · Burke P.E.a, b · Grace P.A.a, b · McGloughlin T.M.b
aDepartment of Surgery, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, and bCentre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research and MSSI, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
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Arterial occlusive disease remains a major health issue in the developed world and a rapidly growing problem in the developing world. Although a growing number of patients are now being effectively treated with minimally invasive techniques, there remains a tremendous pressure on the vascular community to develop a synthetic small-diameter vascular graft with improved long-term patency rates. The field of tissue engineering offers an exciting alternative in the search for living organ replacement structures. Several methodologies have emerged for constructing blood vessel replacements with biological functionality. Common strategies include cell-seeded biodegradable synthetic scaffolds, cell self-assembly, cell-seeded gels and xenogeneic acellular materials. A wide range of materials are being investigated as potential scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering applications. Some are commercialised and others are still in development. Recently, researchers have studied the role of fibrin gel as a three-dimensional scaffold in vascular tissue engineering. This overview describes the properties of fibrin gel in vascular tissue engineering and highlights some recent progress and difficulties encountered in the development of cell fibrin scaffold technology.
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