Achieving adequate vascularization within implanted engineered tissues is a significant obstacle to maintaining viability and functionality. In vitro prevascularization of engineered tissues has been explored as a potential solution to this challenge. The traditional paradigm of in vitro prevascularization is to implant an engineered tissue with a preformed vascular network that is perfused after anastomosis with the host circulation. We investigated the efficacy of this strategy by implanting cell-dense prevascularized tissues created via cell-mediated contraction and composed of collagen and a collagen-fibrin mixture into dorsal window chambers surgically prepared on immunocompromised mice. We found that host-implant anastomosis takes place in 2-6 days and that perfusion of vessels within the implants is subsequently restricted by thrombosis. However, by day 7, a functional vascular network composed of host and implant vessels developed. Prevascularization enhanced intra-implant pO2significantly as early as 2 days postimplantation, reaching a maximum of 55 mmHg by day 8, which was significantly greater than the maximum within cellularized control tissues (18 mmHg). By day 14, collagen tissues supported ∼0.51 × 109implanted and host-derived cells per mL. Our findings elucidate key features of in vitro prevascularization that can be used toward the design of larger and more functionally complex engineered tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering