Surgical treatments for vascular disease have progressed during the past century from autologous bypass conduits to synthetic materials, animal-derived tissues, cryopreserved grafts, and, finally, bioengineered conduits. In all cases, alternative vascular grafting materials have been developed with the goal of treating patients who have severe vascular disease requiring bypass but who have no suitable autologous conduit. Synthetic vascular grafts, animal-derived tissues, and cryopreserved grafts all have drawbacks in terms of availability and functionality that have limited their routine clinical adoption. Although bioengineered vascular graft technologies remain early and highly investigational, they have the potential to revolutionize the way in which severe vascular disease is treated. However, before they can have a clinical impact, bioengineered grafts must be available immediately and "off-the-shelf."
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