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tissue engineering, heart valves, blood vessels, stem cells, progenitor cells



  1. Perry, Tjorvi E. MD
  2. Roth, Stephen J. MD, MPH


Although atherosclerosis and valvular heart disease are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in developed nations, the substitute blood vessels and heart valves currently available all have significant limitations. During the past 10 years, a new field called tissue engineering has emerged, and several research groups are focusing their efforts on constructing living tissue replacement blood vessels and heart valves. In 2001 several exciting developments occurred with the use of progenitor and stem cells. This article introduces the essential concepts of cardiovascular tissue engineering, reviews achievements in the field, discusses the basic developmental biology of heart valves and blood vessels, and summarizes the 2001 research on progenitor and stem cells.