Winner Developing self-renewable "living" endothelium vascular grafts for hemodialysis
Synthetic dialysis grafts are commonly used for hemodialysis vascular access, but they have high failure rates due to thrombosis, stenosis, and infection, primarily because they possess no regenerative or growth potential and lack a functional endothelium. There is a significant unmet clinical need for long-lasting vascular grafts. Using One-Bead One-Compound high-throughput screening technology, VasoBio identified a peptide ligand LXW7 with high affinity and specificity for endothelial progenitor cells and endothelial cells. VasoBio developed a technology to coat vascular grafts with LXW7. Preliminary studies confirmed that LXW7-modified grafts significantly reduced thrombosis, improved endothelialization, and prolonged patency of synthetic vascular grafts. A testable prototype was built by coating clinical grade ePTFE vascular grafts with LXW7. Currently, VasoBio is evaluating the coating technology's stability, cell binding specificity, thrombogenicity and hemocompatibility. VasoBio will further test the prototype in the clinically-relevant large animal (pig) arteriovenous graft model to determine thrombosis, stenosis, endothelial ingrowth and patency, and will interact with the FDA regarding this prototype through the pre-submission program. Successful completion of this study will establish a viable technology to produce long-lasting vascular grafts with self-renewable "living" endothelium, save on healthcare costs, and ultimately improve the quality of life of dialysis patients.
Aijun Wang, PhD, is the Vice Chair for Translational Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Department of Surgery Co-Director of the Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory Cancellor's Fellow in Entrepreneurship, School of Medicine University of California, Davis.
Dr. Aijun Wang is a co-founder of VasoBio Inc, a University of California, Davis (UC Davis) based medical device startup company. Dr. Wang is a Chancellor's Fellow, currently an Associate Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis. He is also a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine (IPRM) / Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center, Northern California.
Dr. Wang's research focuses on developing tools and technologies that combine molecular, cellular, tissue and biomaterial engineering to promote regeneration and restore function for a variety of surgical conditions and diseases. Dr. Wang has been serving as PI or Co-PI on several major grants supported by NIH/NICHD, NIH/NINDS, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the University of California Center for Accelerated Innovation (UC-CAI), the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program of California (TRDRP), Shriners Hospital for Children and other foundations. Dr. Wang has published over 110 peer-reviewed papers, filed 14 patents, and received numerous awards, including the Deloitte QB3 Award for Innovation, the Tony Phillips Research Award from the Children's Miracle Network (CMN), the Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Foundation, and the NIH/NHLBI Technology Development Award. Dr. Wang received his Ph.D. in biology from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and had undergone postdoctoral training at UC Berkeley Department of Bioengineering and Berkeley Stem Cell Center, with a postdoctoral fellowship from California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). He has been a faculty member of UC Davis since 2012.