- Schmedlen, R. H. and Elbjeirami, W. M. and Gobin, A. S. and West, J. L., Tissue engineered small-diameter vascular grafts,
CLINICS IN PLASTIC SURGERY, vol. 30 no. 4
pp. 507--+ [doi] .
(last updated on 2012/02/23)
Over 60 million Americans suffer from some type of cardiovascular disorder. The outcome is often fatal: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) result in the majority of deaths in the United States. CVD claims more lives each year than the next five leading causes of death combined . Coronary heart disease, an affliction of a small-diameter blood vessel, caused more than one in every five American deaths in 2000 and required approximately 500,000 coronary artery bypass graft surgeries (CABGs). Bypass grafting may also be considered necessary in the treatment of aneurysmal disease or trauma. At present, surgeons use autologous tissue and synthetic biomaterials as vascular grafts for these procedures. Despite the large demand for vascular grafts, these materials exist in short supply or lack long-term patency for small-diameter vessels (inner diameter <6 mm); thus, alternative conduits need to be developed. Recent advances in tissue engineering provide hope that new blood vessel substitutes may one day be fabricated for small-diameter applications such as CABG.