Directed Three-Dimensional Growth of Microvascular Cells and Isolated Microvessel Fragments
Abstract:Tissue engineering has promise as a means for repairing diseased and damaged tissues. A significant challenge in tissue construction relates to the constraints placed on tissue geometries resulting from diffusion limitations. An ability to incorporate a premade vasculature would overcome these difficulties and promote construct viability once implanted. Most in vitro microvascular fabrication strategies rely on surface-associated cell growth, manipulated cell monolayers, or random arrangement of cells within matrix materials. In contrast, we successfully suspended microvascular cells and isolated microvessel fragments within collagen and then microfluidically drove the mixtures into microfabricated network topologies. Developing within the 3D collagen matrix, patterned cells progressed into cord-like morphologies. These geometries were directed by the surrounding elastomer mold. With similar techniques, suspended fragments formed endothelial sprouts. By avoiding the addition of exogenous growth factors, we allowed constituent cells and fragments to autonomously develop within the constructs, providing a more physiologically relevant system for in vitro microvascular development. In addition, we present the first examples of directed endothelial cell sprouting from parent microvessel fragments. We believe this system may serve as a foundation for future in vivo fabrication of microvascular networks for tissue engineering applications.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Biomedical Engineering Program, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA 2: Biomedical Engineering Program, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA, Arizona Research Laboratories, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA, The BIO5 Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
Publication date: June 1, 2006
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