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Winning Solution: Developing Self-Renewable "Living" Endothelium Vascular Grafts for Hemodialysis

Self-renewable coating that functions like living tissue to help maintain vein health and longer-lasting vascular grafts

Aijun Wang, PhD; VasoBio

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KidneyX Competition:

Redesign Dialysis, Phase 2

About the Solution

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.

About the Winner

Dr. Aijun Wang is a Chancellor’s Fellow, Professor of Surgery and of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). He is the Vice Chair for Translational Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Department of Surgery, Co-Director of the Center for Surgical Bioengineering, and Dean’s Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the UC Davis School of Medicine. He is also a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine (IPRM) / Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center, Northern California.

Dr. Wang received his Ph.D. in biology from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and underwent postdoctoral training at the 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.