Engineering of Arteries in Vitro

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014 Jun;71(11):2103-18. doi: 10.1007/s00018-013-1546-3. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


This review will focus on two elements that are essential for functional arterial regeneration in vitro: the mechanical environment and the bioreactors used for tissue growth. The importance of the mechanical environment to embryological development, vascular functionality, and vascular graft regeneration will be discussed. Bioreactors generate mechanical stimuli to simulate biomechanical environment of arterial system. This system has been used to reconstruct arterial grafts with appropriate mechanical strength for implantation by controlling the chemical and mechanical environments in which the grafts are grown. Bioreactors are powerful tools to study the effect of mechanical stimuli on extracellular matrix architecture and mechanical properties of engineered vessels. Hence, biomimetic systems enable us to optimize chemo-biomechanical culture conditions to regenerate engineered vessels with physiological properties similar to those of native arteries. In addition, this article reviews various bioreactors designed especially to apply axial loading to engineered arteries. This review will also introduce and examine different approaches and techniques that have been used to engineer biologically based vascular grafts, including collagen-based grafts, fibrin-gel grafts, cell sheet engineering, biodegradable polymers, and decellularization of native vessels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / immunology
  • Arteries / pathology*
  • Arteries / surgery
  • Biocompatible Materials / metabolism
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bioreactors
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis*
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Fibrin / metabolism
  • Graft Survival / immunology
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Tissue Culture Techniques
  • Tissue Engineering*
  • Tissue Scaffolds


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Fibrin
  • Collagen