Author(s): Bajpai VK, Andreadis ST
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Abstract This review focuses on the stem cell sources with the potential to be used in vascular tissue engineering and to promote vascular regeneration. The first clinical studies using tissue-engineered vascular grafts are already under way, supporting the potential of this technology in the treatment of cardiovascular and other diseases. Despite progress in engineering biomaterials with the appropriate mechanical properties and biological cues as well as bioreactors for generating the correct tissue microenvironment, the source of cells that make up the vascular tissues remains a major challenge for tissue engineers and physicians. Mature cells from the tissue of origin may be difficult to obtain and suffer from limited proliferative capacity, which may further decline as a function of donor age. On the other hand, multipotent and pluripotent stem cells have great potential to provide large numbers of autologous cells with a great differentiation capacity. Here, we discuss the adult multipotent as well as embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, their differentiation potential toward vascular lineages, and their use in engineering functional and implantable vascular tissues. We also discuss the associated challenges that need to be addressed in order to facilitate the transition of this technology from the bench to the bedside.
This article was published in Tissue Eng Part B Rev
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy