Bioengineered human blood vessels.
Since the advent of the vascular anastomosis by Alexis Carrel in the early 20th century, the repair and replacement of blood vessels have been key to treating acute injuries, as well as chronic atherosclerotic disease. Arteries serve diverse mechanical and biological functions, such as conducting blood to tissues, interacting with the coagulation system, and modulating resistance to blood flow. Early approaches for arterial replacement used artificial materials, which were supplanted by polymer fabrics in recent decades. With recent advances in the engineering of connective tissues, including arteries, we are on the cusp of seeing engineered human arteries become mainstays of surgical therapy for vascular disease. Progress in our understanding of physiology, cell biology, and biomanufacturing over the past several decades has made these advances possible.
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