Research ArticleHEALTH AND MEDICINE

A model of guided cell self-organization for rapid and spontaneous formation of functional vessels

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  12 Jun 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 6, eaau6562
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau6562

Abstract

Most achievements to engineer blood vessels are based on multiple-step manipulations such as manual sheet rolling or sequential cell seeding followed by scaffold degradation. Here, we propose a one-step strategy using a microfluidic coextrusion device to produce mature functional blood vessels. A hollow alginate hydrogel tube is internally coated with extracellular matrix to direct the self-assembly of a mixture of endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs). The resulting vascular structure has the correct configuration of lumen, an inner lining of ECs, and outer sheath of SMCs. These “vesseloids” reach homeostasis within a day and exhibit the following properties expected for functional vessels (i) quiescence, (ii) perfusability, and (iii) contractility in response to vasoconstrictor agents. Together, these findings provide an original and simple strategy to generate functional artificial vessels and pave the way for further developments in vascular graft and tissue engineering and for deciphering the angiogenesis process.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text