InSitu: Artificial vascular grafts that induce neoartery formation

Yadong Wang, PhD Professor of Bioengineering
Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Chelsea Stowell, BS PhD Student
Department of Bioengineering
Yen-Lin Wu, BS PhD Student
Department of Bioengineering

For 120,000 US peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients each year, the gold standard of care, autologous grafting (usually of saphenous vein) to create a bypass, is not an option. Instead, they must receive synthetic polymer grafts. These grafts often lose patency after prolonged blood contact, with 30% of synthetic grafts failing within one year. The resultant complications and surgeries cost the US healthcare system over $2 billion, and over a thousand lives. InSitu is made of a vastly improved polymer: robust, elastic, and more biocompatible. But most excitingly of all, InSitu is designed to guide the body’s own stem cells to generate a natural artery, anatomically and functionally similar to the body’s other arteries. The polymer gradually biodegrades during the course of new artery formation, further minimizing complication risks. Success has been demonstrated in animal trials. InSitu will initially aim to replace existing synthetic grafts. Once it proves successful in a wide range of patients, it may ultimately replace autologous grafting too: harvesting saphenous vein is invasive, painful, and leads to donor site morbidity. In this scenario, the potential market size would grow to 750,000 procedures per year in the US alone. Polymer synthesis is already licensed to Secant Medical; a new partner is being sought for GLP preclinical testing, GMP scale up, regulatory approval, device manufacturing, and marketing.