Brief Communication | Published:

Tissue engineering

Creation of long-lasting blood vessels

Nature volume 428, pages 138139 (11 March 2004) | Download Citation



The construction of stable blood vessels is a fundamental challenge for tissue engineering in regenerative medicine. Although certain genes can be introduced into vascular cells to enhance their survival and proliferation, these manipulations may be oncogenic. We show here that a network of long-lasting blood vessels can be formed in mice by co-implantation of vascular endothelial cells and mesenchymal precursor cells, by-passing the need for risky genetic manipulations. These networks are stable and functional for one year in vivo.

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Author information


  1. Edwin L. Steele Laboratory, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA

  2. *Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8059, USA


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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rakesh K. Jain.

Supplementary information

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    Supplementary Information

    Includes information on: preparation of the 3-D construct for tissue engineered blood vessels; vascular permeability measurement; and arteriolar contractility assay.


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    Supplementary Movie

    3-D presentation of tissue engineered blood vessels. HUVECs and 10T1/2 cells were seeded in the 3-D constructs and implanted in the animals. EGFP-expressing HUVECs (green) and perfused blood vessels (red) were visualized by multi-photon laser-scanning microscopy (Ref. 4). At day 28, blood perfusion could be seen in all layers of the construct. Thickness of the construct is 165 µm. Image is 270 µm across.

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