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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 689390, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/689390
Review Article

Using Polymeric Scaffolds for Vascular Tissue Engineering

1PhD Course in Surgical Biotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Palermo, Via Del Vespro, 129 90127 Palermo, Italy
2Dichirons Department, University of Palermo, Via Del Vespro, 129 90127 Palermo, Italy
3Department of Biological, Chemical, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, 16 90128 Palermo, Italy
4“P. Giaccone” Universitary Hospital, School of Medicine, School of Biotechnology, University of Palermo, Via Del Vespro, 129 90127 Palermo, Italy

Received 6 February 2014; Accepted 9 June 2014; Published 21 July 2014

Academic Editor: Xiaoming Li

Copyright © 2014 Alida Abruzzo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

With the high occurrence of cardiovascular disease and increasing numbers of patients requiring vascular access, there is a significant need for small-diameter (<6 mm inner diameter) vascular graft that can provide long-term patency. Despite the technological improvements, restenosis and graft thrombosis continue to hamper the success of the implants. Vascular tissue engineering is a new field that has undergone enormous growth over the last decade and has proposed valid solutions for blood vessels repair. The goal of vascular tissue engineering is to produce neovessels and neoorgan tissue from autologous cells using a biodegradable polymer as a scaffold. The most important advantage of tissue-engineered implants is that these tissues can grow, remodel, rebuild, and respond to injury. This review describes the development of polymeric materials over the years and current tissue engineering strategies for the improvement of vascular conduits.