Tissue engineered blood vessels (TEBV) represent an attractive approach for overcoming reconstructive problems associated with vascular diseases by providing small calibre vascular grafts. The aim of this study has been to evaluate a novel biomaterial, bacterial cellulose (BC), as a potential scaffold for TEBV. The morphology of the BC pellicle grown in static culture was investigated with SEM. Mechanical properties of BC were measured in Krebs solution and compared with the properties of porcine carotid arteries and ePTFE grafts. Attachment, proliferation and ingrowth of human smooth muscle cells (SMC) on the BC were analysed in vitro. The BC pellicle had an asymmetric structure composed of a fine network of nanofibrils similar to a collagen network. The shape of the stress-strain response of BC is reminiscent of the stress-strain response of the carotid artery, most probably due to the similarity in architecture of the nanofibrill networks. SMC adhered to and proliferated on the BC pellicle; an ingrowth of up to 40 microm was seen after 2 weeks of culture. BC exhibit attractive properties for use in future TEBV.