Integration of Self-Assembled Microvascular Networks with Microfabricated PEG-Based Hydrogels

TitleIntegration of Self-Assembled Microvascular Networks with Microfabricated PEG-Based Hydrogels
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCuchiara, MP, Gould, DJ, McHale, MK, Dickinson, ME, West, JL
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Pagination4511 - 4518
Date Published11/2012
Keywordshydrogels; microfluidics; polymeric materials; self-assembly; Tissue Engineering

Despite tremendous efforts, tissue engineered constructs are restricted to
thin, simple tissues sustained only by diffusion. The most signifi cant barrier
in tissue engineering is insuffi cient vascularization to deliver nutrients
and metabolites during development in vitro and to facilitate rapid vascular
integration in vivo. Tissue engineered constructs can be greatly improved by
developing perfusable microvascular networks in vitro in order to provide
transport that mimics native vascular organization and function. Here a
microfl uidic hydrogel is integrated with a self-assembling pro-vasculogenic
co-culture in a strategy to perfuse microvascular networks in vitro. This
approach allows for control over microvascular network self-assembly and
employs an anastomotic interface for integration of self-assembled microvascular networks with fabricated microchannels. As a result, transport within the system shifts from simple diffusion to vessel supported convective transport and extra-vessel diffusion, thus improving overall mass transport properties. This work impacts the development of perfusable prevascularized tissues in vitro and ultimately tissue engineering applications in vivo.

Short TitleAdv. Funct. Mater.
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