Perivascular cells and tissue engineering: current applications and untapped potential

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The recent development of tissue engineering provides exciting new perspectives for the replacement of failing organs and the repair of damaged tissues. Perivascular cells, including vascular smooth muscle cells, pericytes and other tissue specific populations residing around blood vessels, have been isolated from many organs and are known to participate to the in situ repair process and angiogenesis. Their potential has been harnessed for cell therapy of numerous pathologies; however, in this Review we will discuss the potential of perivascular cells in the development of tissue engineering solutions for healthcare. We will examine their application in the engineering of vascular grafts, cardiac patches and bone substitutes as well as other tissue engineering applications and we will focus on their extensive use in the vascularization of engineered constructs. Additionally, we will discuss the emerging potential of human pericytes for the development of efficient, vascularized and non-immunogenic engineered constructs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
Early online date24 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Biomaterials
  • pericytes
  • perivascular cells
  • tissue engineering
  • vascular graft
  • scaffold vascularization


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