Most AV grafts that are placed for hemodialysis access are comprised of a synthetic material, which suffers from significant drawbacks including a high rate of infection, or a propensity for occlusion due to thrombosis and intimal hyperplasia, said Jeffrey H. Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Surgery at Duke University School of Medicine and an author of the research. Due to high complication rates, each AV dialysis graft requires an average of 2.8 interventions over its lifetime just to keep it functioning. Hence, there is a huge clinical need for a functionally superior, off-the-shelf, AV graft that suffers from fewer complications than current materials.
The research was conducted by scientists from Duke University, East Carolina University, Yale University, and Humacyte, and was funded by Humacyte, a leader in regenerative medicine. Overseeing the research and senior author of the article was Laura Niklason, M.D., Ph.D., founder of Humacyte, and Professor of Anesthesiology and of Biomedical Engineering at Yale University. Niklason is a recognized authority in regenerative medicine for arterial engineering and was leader of the team that recently created a functioning rat lung in a laboratory.
Not only are bioengineered veins available at the time of patient need, but the ability to generate a significant number of grafts from a cell bank will allow for a reduction in the final production costs, as compared to other regenerative medicine strategies, added lead author Shannon L. M. Dahl, Senior Director of Scientific Operations and Co-Founder of Humacyte, Inc. While there is still considerable research to be done before a product is available for widespread use, we are highly encouraged by the results outlined in this paper and eager to move
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