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Thick silk fibroin vascular graft: A promising tissue-engineered scaffold material for abdominal vein grafts in middle-sized mammals.

Abdominal vein replacement with synthetic tissue-engineered vascular grafts constructed from silk-based scaffold material has not been reported in middle-sized mammals. Fourteen canines that underwent caudal vena cava replacement with a silk fibroin (SF) vascular graft (15 mm long and 8 mm diameter) prepared with natural silk biocompatible thread were allocated to two groups, thin and thick SF groups, based on the graft wall thickness. The short-term patency rate and histologic reactions were compared. The patency rate at 2 weeks after replacement in the thin and thick SF groups was 50% and 88%, respectively ( p  = 0.04). CD31-positive endothelial cells covered the luminal surface of both groups at 4 weeks. The elastic modulus of the thick SF graft was significantly better than that of the thin SF graft (0.0210 and 0.0007 N/m2 , p  < 0.01). Roundness of thick SF groups ( o  = 0.8 mm) was better than thin SF ( o  = 2.0 mm). There was significant difference between the groups ( p  = 0.01). SF vascular grafts are a promising tissue-engineered scaffold material for abdominal venous system replacement in middle-sized mammals, with thick-walled grafts being superior to thin-walled grafts.

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