A tissue engineering approach was developed to produce arbitrary lengths of vascular graft material from smooth muscle and endothelial cells that were derived from a biopsy of vascular tissue. Bovine vessels cultured under pulsatile conditions had rupture strengths greater than 2000 millimeters of mercury, suture retention strengths of up to 90 grams, and collagen contents of up to 50 percent. Cultured vessels also showed contractile responses to pharmacological agents and contained smooth muscle cells that displayed markers of differentiation such as calponin and myosin heavy chains. Tissue- engineered arteries were implanted in miniature swine, with patency documented up to 24 days by digital angiography.
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