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Tissue Eng. 2002 Dec;8(6):1057-69.

Systemic delivery of human growth hormone using genetically modified tissue-engineered microvascular networks: prolonged delivery and endothelial survival with inclusion of nonendothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering and Institute for Medicine and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Endothelial cells have the potential to provide efficient long-term delivery of therapeutic proteins to the circulation if a sufficient number of genetically modified endothelial cells can be incorporated into the host vasculature and if these cells persist for an adequate period of time. Here we describe the ability of nonendothelial cells to modulate the survival of implanted endothelial cells and their incorporation into host vasculature. Bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) suspended in Matrigel and cultured in vitro remained spherical and decreased in number over time. Subcutaneous implantation of gels containing BAECs secreting human growth hormone (hGH) in mice initially resulted in detectable plasma hGH levels, which were undetectable after 2 weeks. When mixed with fibroblasts and suspended in Matrigel, hGH-secreting BAECs formed microvascular networks in vitro. Implantation of these gels resulted in plasma hGH levels that decreased slightly over 2 weeks and then remained stable for at least 6 weeks. BAECs incorporated into blood vessels within both the implant and fibrous capsule that surrounded and invaded implants. Within implants containing BAECs and fibroblasts, viable BAECs were present for at least 6 weeks at a higher density than in implants containing BAECs alone at 3 weeks. These results indicate that implanted BAECs can incorporate into host blood vessels and that inclusion of fibroblasts in this system prolongs BAEC survival and hGH delivery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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