The successful integration of in vitro-generated tissues is dependent on adequate vascularization in vivo. Human outgrowth endothelial cells (OECs) isolated from the mononuclear cell fraction of peripheral blood represent a potent population of circulating endothelial progenitors that could provide a cell source for rapid anastomosis and scaffold vascularization. Our previous work with these cells in co-culture with primary human osteoblasts has demonstrated their potential to form perfused vascular structures within a starch–poly(caprolactone) biomaterial in vivo. In the present study, we demonstrate the ability of OECs to form perfused vascular structures as early as 48 h following subcutaneous implantation of the biomaterial in vivo. The number of OEC-derived vessels increased throughout the study, an effect that was independent of the OEC donor. This finding of rapid and thorough OEC-mediated scaffold vascularization demonstrates the great potential for OEC-based strategies to promote vascularization in tissue engineering. OECs have the potential to contribute to host-derived scaffold vascularization, and formed vascular structures at a similar density as those arising from the host. Additionally, immunohistochemical evidence demonstrated the close interaction between OECs and the co-cultured osteoblasts. In addition to the known paracrine activity osteoblasts have in modulating angiogenesis of co-cultured OECs, we demonstrate the potential of osteoblasts to provide additional structural support for OEC-derived vessels, perhaps acting in a pericyte-like role. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.