Table of Contents
ISRN Vascular Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 923030, 27 pages
Review Article

Vascular Tissue Engineering: Recent Advances in Small Diameter Blood Vessel Regeneration

1Laboratorio Biomateriali, Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica “G. Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
2Local Unit Politecnico di Milano, INSTM, Via G. Giusti 9, 50121 Firenze, Italy
3INNOVHUB-SSI, Divisione Stazione Sperimentale per la Seta, Via G. Colombo 83, 20133 Milano, Italy

Received 29 October 2013; Accepted 21 November 2013; Published 28 January 2014

Academic Editors: B. Hambly and M. Zhang

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Catto 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.


Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality around the globe. The development of a functional and appropriate substitute for small diameter blood vessel replacement is still a challenge to overcome the main drawbacks of autografts and the inadequate performances of synthetic prostheses made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET, Dacron) and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE, Goretex). Therefore, vascular tissue engineering has become a promising approach for small diameter blood vessel regeneration as demonstrated by the increasing interest dedicated to this field. This review is focused on the most relevant and recent studies concerning vascular tissue engineering for small diameter blood vessel applications. Specifically, the present work reviews research on the development of tissue-engineered vascular grafts made of decellularized matrices and natural and/or biodegradable synthetic polymers and their realization without scaffold.