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A novel concept for scaffold-free vessel tissue engineering: self-assembly of microtissue building blocks


Kelm, J M; Lorber, V; Snedeker, J G; Schmidt, D; Broggini-Tenzer, A; Weisstanner, M; Odermatt, B; Mol, A; Zünd, G; Hoerstrup, S P (2010). A novel concept for scaffold-free vessel tissue engineering: self-assembly of microtissue building blocks. Journal of Biotechnology, 148(1):46-55.

Abstract

Current scientific attempts to generate in vitro tissue-engineered living blood vessels (TEBVs) show substantial limitations, thereby preventing routine clinical use. In the present report, we describe a novel biotechnology concept to create living small diameter TEBV based exclusively on microtissue self-assembly (living cellular re-aggregates). A novel bioreactor was designed to assemble microtissues in a vascular shape and apply pulsatile flow and circumferential mechanical stimulation. Microtissues composed of human artery-derived fibroblasts (HAFs) and endothelial cells (HUVECs) were accumulated and cultured for 7 and 14 days under pulsatile flow/mechanical stimulation or static culture conditions with a diameter of 3mm and a wall thickness of 1mm. The resulting vessels were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell phenotype (von Willebrand factor, alpha-SMA, Ki67, VEGF). Self-assembled microtissues composed of fibroblasts displayed significantly accelerated ECM formation compared to monolayer cell sheets. Accumulation of vessel-like tissue occurred within 14 days under both, static and flow/mechanical stimulation conditions. A layered tissue formation was observed only in the dynamic group, as indicated by luminal aligned alpha-SMA positive fibroblasts. We could demonstrate that self-assembled cell-based microtissues can be used to generate small diameter TEBV. The significant enhancement of ECM expression and maturation, together with the pre-vascularization capacity makes this approach highly attractive in terms of generating functional small diameter TEBV devoid of any foreign material.

Abstract

Current scientific attempts to generate in vitro tissue-engineered living blood vessels (TEBVs) show substantial limitations, thereby preventing routine clinical use. In the present report, we describe a novel biotechnology concept to create living small diameter TEBV based exclusively on microtissue self-assembly (living cellular re-aggregates). A novel bioreactor was designed to assemble microtissues in a vascular shape and apply pulsatile flow and circumferential mechanical stimulation. Microtissues composed of human artery-derived fibroblasts (HAFs) and endothelial cells (HUVECs) were accumulated and cultured for 7 and 14 days under pulsatile flow/mechanical stimulation or static culture conditions with a diameter of 3mm and a wall thickness of 1mm. The resulting vessels were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell phenotype (von Willebrand factor, alpha-SMA, Ki67, VEGF). Self-assembled microtissues composed of fibroblasts displayed significantly accelerated ECM formation compared to monolayer cell sheets. Accumulation of vessel-like tissue occurred within 14 days under both, static and flow/mechanical stimulation conditions. A layered tissue formation was observed only in the dynamic group, as indicated by luminal aligned alpha-SMA positive fibroblasts. We could demonstrate that self-assembled cell-based microtissues can be used to generate small diameter TEBV. The significant enhancement of ECM expression and maturation, together with the pre-vascularization capacity makes this approach highly attractive in terms of generating functional small diameter TEBV devoid of any foreign material.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Division of Surgical Research
04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:14 Jan 2011 14:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:24
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0168-1656
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2010.03.002
PubMed ID:20223267

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