Although synthetic plastic vascular prostheses have been successful in the replacement of damaged and diseased arteries, particularly those of large caliber, there remains a gap in their performance and that of the theoretically ideal prosthesis. The defects that illustrate this gap include the failure of acceptance of the prosthesis as a normal host tissue, ultimate disruption of suture lines, lack of "normal" intima, absence of elasticity and vascular rebound of the vessel wall, and most significant, eventual thrombosis of the graft, particularly in vessels of small caliber.
The search for a more satisfactory prosthesis is in order because of the progressive change in clinical indications for blood vessel replacement. Resection of the aorta and its major branches with prosthesis replacement is largely successful; replacement of smaller arteries has a high incidence of failure even in the most competent hands. However, since clinical indications for replacement of small arteries have increased