Cardiovascular disease is still the number one cause of death in the industrialized world. Diseased small diameter blood vessels are frequently replaced by native grafts. However, these vessels have a limited life time [1], for example the patency at 10 year after coronary artery bypass grafting of saphenous vein grafts is 57% [2]. Tissue engineering (TE) of small diameter blood vessels seems a promising approach to overcome these shortcomings or address the increasing need for substitutes during follow up surgery. Mechanical conditioning of myofibroblast (MFs) seeded constructs appears to be beneficial for functional tissue properties, such as cell proliferation, ECM production and mechanical strength [3,4]. Without a functional endothelial cell (ECs) layer however, patency may be compromised by thrombogenecity. Construction of an EC layer might on the other hand affect the tissue composition during culture, as was shown for bovine ECs, which influenced proliferation and ECM production of smooth muscle cells [5].

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.