Applying elastic fibre biology in vascular tissue engineering

Cay M. Kielty, Simon Stephan, Michael J. Sherratt, Matthew Williamson, C. Adrian Shuttleworth

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    For the treatment of vascular disease, the major cause of death in Western society, there is an urgent need for tissue-engineered, biocompatible, small calibre artery substitutes that restore biological function. Vascular tissue engineering of such grafts involves the development of compliant synthetic or biomaterial scaffolds that incorporate vascular cells and extracellular matrix. Elastic fibres are major structural elements of arterial walls that can enhance vascular graft design and patency. In blood vessels, they endow vessels with the critical property of elastic recoil. They also influence vascular cell behaviour through direct interactions and by regulating growth factor activation. This review addresses physiological elastic fibre assembly and contributions to vessel structure and function, and how elastic fibre biology is now being exploited in small diameter vascular graft design. © 2007 The Royal Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1293-1312
    Number of pages19
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
    Issue number1484
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2007


    • Blood vessels
    • Elastic fibres
    • Elastin
    • Fibrillin
    • Fibulin
    • Tissue engineering


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