Also part of the UPMC family:
Also part of the UPMC family:

Artificial Blood Vessel Research at the McGowan Institute

David Vorp, PhD, and his team of researchers are:

  • Studying the use of tissue engineering of tubular structures to form scaffolds that can help repair the blood vessels.
  • Designing a small diameter tissue-engineered vascular graft to treat heart and blood vessel diseases.

The approach is to use a person’s own stem cells and incorporate them in a biodegradable polyurethane-based scaffold. William Wagner, PhD, McGowan Institute director, made the scaffold in the lab.

The stem cells then undergo ample in vivo remodeling to create a native-like blood vessel.

Artificial blood vessels may be effective in small diameter arterial bypass procedures or vein access for dialysis.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) taken from people at high risk for cardiovascular disease — such as the elderly and diabetics — may be dysfunctional.

Dr. Vorp and scientists have created artificial stem cells (artMSCs). They take the biochemicals from normal functioning MSCs and enclose them in culture into biodegradable microspheres similar in size to actual MSCs.

ArtMSC technology, when available, will apply to all patients — even those with dysfunctional MSCs.

Find a Doctor

Browse UPMC doctors and medical professionals to find the care that's right for you. Customize your search by specialty, zip code, last name, and more.


Visit the UPMC Find a Doctor website.
Make an Appointment

Find important information on scheduling your appointment or finding a doctor or service that meets your needs.


Request an appointment now.
Find a Location

Browse addresses and contact information for our network of hospitals, specialty care practices, and community health locations.


Find a UPMC location near you.
Pay Your Bill

Learn more about how to pay your UPMC bill. Find resources including payment methods and contact information for assistance.


Pay your bill now.
Find a Career

Advance your career with UPMC. Discover our latest job listings and learn about our values and career pathways.


Find your ideal career at UPMC.