It is well known that the number of patients requiring a vascular grafts for use as vessel replacement in cardiovascular diseases, or as vascular access site for hemodialysis is ever increasing. The development of tissue engineered blood vessels (TEBV's) is a promising method to meet this increasing demand vascular grafts, without having to rely on poorly performing synthetic options such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or Dacron. The generation of in vivo TEBV's involves utilizing the host reaction to an implanted biomaterial for the generation of completely autologous tissues. Essentially this approach to the development of TEBV's makes use of the foreign body response to biomaterials for the construction of the entire vascular replacement tissue within the patient's own body. In this review we will discuss the method of developing in vivo TEBV's, and debate the approaches of several research groups that have implemented this method.
Keywords: Animal models; Foreign body response; Graft; Graft patency; In vivo tissue engineering; Tissue engineering; Translational; Vascular access; Vascular graft; Vascular tissue engineering; Vasculature.