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Vaattoegang/ Vascular access

Vascular access dysfunction remains the Achilles’ heel of hemodialysis, leading to substantial morbidity and health care costs. Vascular tissue engineering has emerged as an attractive method to generate tissue engineered constructs for vascular access conduits. The aim of this project is to develop an in vivo tissue engineered blood vessel (TEBV) for hemodialysis vascular access. The rationale for our approach stems from the observation that implantation of prosthetic materials in the human body initiates an inflammatory response that ultimately leads to the formation of an autologous fibrocellular capsule around the implant material. Implantation of a cylindrical shaped rod would therefore lead to the formation of a tube-shaped fibrocellular tissue capsule which should form the basis of the TEBV. The characteristics of the implanted material highly influence the tissue response following implantation. By modifying the characteristics of the implant material, the tissue formed around this material can be tailored, thereby creating a solid basis for an autologous in vivo tissue engineered blood vessel. Once the cylindrical shaped foreign body is removed and the remaining fibrocellular tissue capsule is implanted as arteriovenous (AV) graft, the tissue capsule transdifferentiates into a functional blood vessel which can be used as cannulation site for hemodialysis procedures. Using this approach, the ultimate goal is that is that patients grow their own arteries within their own body.