Tissue engineering, the use of a biodegradable scaffold with incorporation of a cellular source, particularly with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has shown great promise in developing blood vessel grafts 1. Vascular tissue engineering not only combats the important clinical need for bypass grafts but also has the potential to advance current approaches by limiting intimal hyperplasia, thrombosis, and extended cell culture times 2–5. However, despite significant progress in this field, many preclinical evaluations of tissue engineered blood vessels (TEBVs) utilize cells from donor bases that are either non-human or from humans that are healthy 1. It is therefore unclear if cells from compromised donor populations are able to function effectively as the cellular component of TEBVs. This is particularly important for MSC-based TEBVs as they rely heavily on cellular processes to remodel in vivo to a native-like structure, with the current hypothesis being that MSCs stimulate the migration of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) from the adjacent vascular walls 6,7. While some studies have noted that cellular dysfunction exists with the presence of certain conditions 8–11, it is critically important for the field of TEBVs to evaluate human cells, specifically those from patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease such as diabetics and those of advanced age.

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