Toshiharu Shinoka, MD, PhD
Toshiharu Shinoka, MD, PhD, is a Co-Director of the Tissue Engineering Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital. As a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, I am interested in the surgical management of congenital heart anomalies. Repair of many congenital heart defects often requires foreign materials to establish vascular continuity. Prosthetic and bioprosthetic materials currently in use lack growth potential and therefore must be repeatedly replaced in pediatric patients as they grow. Tissue engineering (TE) is a new discipline that offers the potential for creating replacement structures from autologous cells and biodegradable polymer scaffolds. In May 2000 I initiated clinical application of tissue-engineered vascular grafts seeded with cultured cells in Japan. Forty seven patients underwent cardiac surgery with a tissue-engineered graft. Biodegradable conduits or patches seeded with autologous BMCs showed normal function (good patency up to maximum follow-up of 17 years). As living tissues, these vascular structures may have the potential for growth, repair and remodeling. The TE approach may provide an important alternative to the use of prosthetic materials in the field of cardiovascular surgery. Our laboratory was the first to obtain FDA approval for investigating the use of tissue engineered vascular grafts in patients in the United States.
Yuichi Matsuzaki, MD, PhD
Yuichi Matsuzaki's research is focused on tissue engineered vasucular grafts for arteries.