Valvular heart disease is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide. Classical replacement surgery involves the implantation of mechanical valves or biological valves (xeno- or homografts). Tissue engineering of heart valves represents a new experimental concept to improve current modes of therapy in valvular heart surgery. Various approaches have been developed differing either in the choice of scaffold (synthetic biodegradable polymers, decellularised xeno- or homografts) or cell source for the production of living tissue (vascular derived cells, bone marrow cells or progenitor cells from the peripheral blood). The use of autologous bone marrow cells in combination with synthetic biodegradable scaffolds bears advantages over other tissue engineering approaches: it is safe, it leads to complete autologous prostheses and the cells are more easily obtained in the clinical routine. Even though we demonstrated the feasibility to construct living functional tissue engineered heart valves from human bone marrow cells, so far their general potential to differentiate into non-hematopoietic cell lineages is not fully exploited for tissue engineering applications.