The development of small diameter vascular grafts with a controlled pluricellular organization is still needed for effective vascular tissue engineering. Here, we describe a technological approach combining a tubular scaffold and magnetically labeled cells to create a pluricellular
and organized vascular graft, the endothelialization of which could be monitored by MRI prior to transplantation. A novel type of scaffold was developed with a tubular geometry and a porous bulk structure enabling the seeding of cells in the scaffold pores. A homogeneous distribution of human
mesenchymal stem cells in the macroporous structure was obtained by seeding the freeze-dried scaffold with the cell suspension. The efficient covering of the luminal surface of the tube was then made possible thanks to the implementation of a magnetic-based patterning technique. Human endothelial
cells or endothelial progenitors were magnetically labeled with iron oxide nanoparticles and successfully attracted to the 2-mm lumen where they attached and formed a continuous endothelium. The combination of imaging modalities [fluorescence imaging, histology, and 3D magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI)] evidenced the integrity of the vascular construct. In particular, the observation of different cell organizations in a vascular scaffold within the range of resolution of single cells by 4.7 T MRI is reported.
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Iron oxide nanoparticles;
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI);
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs);
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 05 November 2013
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