Bioengineered vascular grafts: Improving vascular tissue engineering through scaffold design


Arteriosclerosis has accounted for three quarters of the deaths related to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Arteriosclerosis is a vascular disease that is characterized by a thickening of the arterial wall and subsequent decrease in the arterial lumen, eventually causing loss of circulation distal to the site of disease. Small diameter arteries (< 6 mm) are affected the most by CVD due to their already decreased blood flow. The increasing populations of people who are obese, diabetic, or aging supplement a strong need for the production of a commercially available small diameter vascular graft. Tissue engineering has become a promising approach for generating a biocompatible vessel with the potential to regenerate new tissue. Multiple factors have to be accounted for when designing a vascular graft that has the ability to self-repair and self-remodel such as the choice of polymer, choice of cell type and choice of growth conditions. To date, historical landmarks such as the initial research of Weinberg and Bell have led researchers closer and closer to afunctional end product.

Publication Title

Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology