Research and Innovations

Pediatric Surgery Research and Innovations

Tissue Engineering Research

Tissue engineering holds incredible potential for repairing birth defects, allowing a child’s own cells to be used to “grow” new tissue or organs for repair.

Nationwide Children’s Tissue Engineering Program leaders, Drs. Breuer and Shinoka, were the first in the world to tissue engineer blood vessels and implant them in human infants for repair of congenital heart defects.  Now, Nationwide Children’s is home to the first FDA-approved U.S. human trial to investigate the safety and effectiveness of using tissue engineering to repair congenital heart defects.

Tissue Engineering Research Faculty

Christopher K. Breuer, MD
Toshiharu Shinoka, MD, PhD

Latest Findings in Tissue Engineering Research

What Is the Greatest Regulatory Challenge in the Translation of Biomaterials to the Clinic?
Leaders in the field, including Dr. Breuer, comment on what they perceive to be the greatest barriers to biomaterial translation.

Access an abstract of this study: What Is the Greatest Regulatory Challenge in the Translation of Biomaterials to the Clinic?. Sci. Transl. Med. 4, 160cm14 (2012).

Current Advances in the Translation of Vascular Tissue Engineering to the Treatment of Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease
Tissue-engineered vascular grafts hold great promise for the improvement of outcomes in pediatric patients with congenital cardiac anomalies. This report reviews the recent advances in the understanding of neotissue formation and vascular tissue engineering.

Access an abstract of this study: Current advances in the translation of vascular tissue engineering to the treatment of pediatric congenital heart disease. Yale J Biol Med. 2012 Jun;85(2):229-38.

Vascular Tissue Engineering: The Next Generation
This report discusses current trends in vascular tissue engineering, including developing an autologous tissue engineered vascular graft that can incorporate into a patient's circulatory system.

Access an abstract of this study: Vascular tissue engineering: the next generation. Trends Mol Med. 2012 Jul;18(7):394-404.

Using an Induced Puripotent Stem Cell Sheet to Construct Tissue-Engineered Vascular Grafts
This study evaluates the use of a sheet created from induced pluripotent stem cell-derived vascular cells as a potential source for the construction of tissue-engineered vascular grafts.

Access an abstract of this study: Evaluation of the use of an induced puripotent stem cell sheet for the construction of tissue-engineered vascular grafts. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Mar;143(3):696-703.

How the Extracellular Matrix Develops in Tissue-Engineered Vascular Grafts
The structure of the extracellular matrix determines new blood vessel quality. This study found that new blood vessel formation is characterized by early extracellular matrix deposition followed by extensive remodeling.

Access an abstract of this study: Characterization of the natural history of extracellular matrix production in tissue-engineered vascular grafts during neovessel formation. Cells Tissues Organs. 2012;195(1-2):60-72.

Current Tissue Engineering Grants

Evaluation of the degree of macrophage infiltration in tissue-engineered vascular grafts: a comparison between ficoll density filtration and filter elution, Pall Corporation (Christopher Breuer, MD)

Development of a pulsatile conduit for surgical correction of single ventricle cardiac anomalies, CT Stem Cell Grant Research Grant Program (Christopher Breuer, MD, co-principal investigator)

Investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of vascular neotissue formation in tissue engineered vascular grafts, National Institutes of Health/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (Christopher Breuer, MD)

A pilot study investigating the clinical use of tissue engineered vascular grafts in congenital heart surgery, Gunze Limited (Christopher Breuer, MD and Toshiharu Shinoka)

Development of a closed, disposable seeding system for tissue engineered vascular grafts, Pall Corporation (Christopher Breuer, MD)

featured video

Dr. Christopher Breuer and Dr. Toshiharu Shinoka, co-directors of the Tissue Engineering Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital, are the first surgeons in the world to engineer tissue-engineered vascular grafts using a child's own cells.
Bennett was born with complex congenital heart disease and received a rare double switch operation at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
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