Jefferson Surgical Solutions


Jefferson vascular surgeon obtains three research grants. Vascular surgeon Paul DiMuzio, MD, FACS,Assistant Professor of Surgery and Radiology,Jefferson Medical College (JMC) of ThomasJefferson University, has been awarded grantsfrom the National Institutes of Health (NIH),American Vascular Association and AmericanHeart Association totaling $975,000. Thesefunds will further his team's research to usetissue engineering and stem cell technologyto develop a novel bypass graft for patientswho lack autogenous tissues for vascularprocedures such as coronary and peripheralartery bypass and hemodialysis access. "Today, the gold standard for creatingthese grafts is using the patient's saphenousvein or another artery," Dr. DiMuzio says."When those are unavailable because theyare diseased, too small or have beenpreviously used for surgery, the currentalternative is plastic grafts, which typicallyclog up quickly. Our goal is to create a new,readily available graft starting withsaphenous vein taken from tissuetransplantation donors." Recipients may reject blood vesseltransplants; Dr. DiMuzio, however, hasdeveloped a novel two-step process to getaround this problem. First, the foreign cells are removed from the donated blood vessels,leaving a "skeleton" of the vessel that has amuch-reduced chance of rejection. Second,this skeleton is repopulated with the patient'sown cells to form the new graft. Dr. DiMuzioand his team are now conducting in vitroand in vivo studies – the latter using animals– to develop methods of using the patient'sown stem cells for this purpose. "Our goal is to create anew, readily available graftstarting with saphenousvein taken from tissuetransplantation." "Ultimately, over the next several years,our work is designed to translate into clinical use, primarily as a hemodialysis conduit," Dr. DiMuzio explains. "Withsuccess in this area, we hope to expand ourwork to cardiac, peripheral andmicrosurgical reconstructions." Dr. DiMuzio's collaborators include hisJMC mentors, Thomas N. Tulenko, PhD,Professor, Department of Surgery,Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology,and Director, Division of Surgical Research,and Irving Shapiro, PhD, Professor ofOrthopedic Surgery. In turn, he is mentoringseveral Jefferson residents and studentsassisting him. Dr. DiMuzio received a mentored five-year/$500,000 grant from the NIH's NationalHeart, Lung and Blood Institute, a five-year/$375,000 grant from the American Vascular Association, and a two-year/$100,000 grant from the American HeartAssociation, all beginning this year,concurrent with the final year of a three-year/$150,000 grant from Pacific Vascular Research Foundation.

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