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01.08.2013 | Review | Ausgabe 4/2013

European Surgery 4/2013

Tissue engineering of vascular grafts

European Surgery > Ausgabe 4/2013
MD, DVM H. Bergmeister, MD M. Strobl, Dipl.-Ing.(FH) C. Grasl, Ao.Univ. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. R. Liska, Ao.Univ. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. H. Schima



There is a considerable clinical need for a sufficient prosthetic small-diameter substitute which can compete with autologous vessels. Currently used synthetic materials have a poor performance due to high thrombogeneicity and development of intimal hyperplasia. Tissue engineering is an interesting alternative approach for vascular graft fabrication.


We briefly overviewed the development of tissue-engineered vascular substitutes including endothelialized biohybrid grafts, collagen and fibrin-based scaffolds, decellularized scaffolds, cell self-assembly approaches, and biodegradable constructs based on synthetic polymers.


Significant advances have been made over the past decades in the development of tissue-engineered conduits. Biomechanical weakness, one of the major limitations of biologically based grafts has been resolved and two tissue-engineered grafts are currently under further investigation for clinical application.


Vascular tissue engineering is a promising approach to overcome the limitations of current therapies in small-diameter vascular replacement.

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