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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 1, 2014

Bioartificial fabrication of regenerating blood vessel substitutes: requirements and current strategies

  • Mathias Wilhelmi , Stefan Jockenhoevel and Petra Mela EMAIL logo


This work reviews the tremendous development in the field of vascular graft tissue engineering driven by a clear and increasing clinical need for functional vascular replacements able to grow and remodel. The different strategies to tissue engineer blood vessels are presented, from the classical approach of a living implant generated in vitro by conditioning a cell-seeded scaffold to remarkable paradigm shifts either i) toward a completely biology-driven strategy (scaffold-free approaches) or ii) the opposite tendency of cell-free scaffolds aiming at eliciting the host reaction for in situ tissue engineering. In the scaffold-based approaches emphasis is given to the material choice.

Corresponding author: Petra Mela, Department of Tissue Engineering and Textile Implants, Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz Institute, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstr. 20, 52072 Aachen, Germany, Phone: +49 241 80 89886, Fax: +49 241 80 23402, E-mail: ;


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Received: 2013-10-18
Accepted: 2014-2-3
Published Online: 2014-3-1
Published in Print: 2014-6-1

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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